Gum Disease & Treatment in Allen
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Did you know that gum disease does not cause pain and is the leading cause of tooth loss? The bacteria and inflammation associated with gum disease can travel through your bloodstream to contribute to disease in other parts of your body.
Periodontist in Allen
While many people are familiar with looking after teeth and ensuring they stay healthy, few people pay much attention to the gums. Gums also play a significant role in the health of your teeth and mouth, and some dental professionals in Allen are experts in this area. Here are a few of the common questions people have about gums and the experts that look after them.
Periodontics is the professional dental study and treatment of the inflammatory conditions that affect the gums and supporting structures of the teeth.
SCALING AND ROOT PLANING
When the buildup on your teeth containing bacteria causes disease, bleeding gums, tenderness, or bone loss, it must be treated. Our hygienist uses special equipment to gently remove even the toughest buildup comfortably. After treatment, it takes about one month to see the gums return to health. Diligent efforts to keep debris from building up on the teeth is important.
When debris starts to accumulate on the teeth, it can be toxic to the gums and bone supporting the teeth. The bacteria in the buildup causes a gum infection much like bacteria in a cut would cause infection. It makes it redder, swollen and it bleeds more easily when you brush, floss, or even touch the area. Gum disease is serious because it destroys the bone that supports the teeth. When buildup stays on the teeth, toxins cause the bone to react by dissolving, creating a space between the gum and the tooth that allows for more buildup, accelerating the problem.
The buildup must be removed. In order to remove the buildup from the pockets where the bone is melting away below the gums, the gums have to be numbed. The hygienist then uses special equipment with ultrasonic frequency to break the buildup away from the teeth. The hygienist then smooths the surface of the teeth and polishes, making it more difficult for the new buildup to reattach.
The hygienist can then suggest changes in your brushing and flossing to increase the effectiveness.
After one month, the gums should be healed. The hygienist will feel around the gums to check for bleeding and swelling and gum pockets to make sure the gum pockets have resolved and the gums are healthy.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Find the answers below to the most frequently asked questions about gum disease in Allen. Having the answers to these key questions can help you choose the right Allen dentist for you. If you don't see the answer below to a question you have, reach out to All Smiles Dentistry at (972) 747-1996 and our team can help!
This is a dentist that has gone beyond the basic education of dental science to specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of periodontal disease. This requires three additional years of study beyond the normal degree for dental sciences or medicine. It also qualifies a periodontist to work with implants as well as perform more cosmetic procedures such as gum lifts.
This is a more serious form of gum disease that some patients in Allen develop, and can often be caused by gingivitis that is ignored. When periodontitis sets in, this weakens the gums. If left untreated, it can lead to loose teeth that move around in the gums and, eventually a loss of teeth as they are no longer able to remain anchored in the mouth.
Gum disease has numerous causes, but it usually occurs when an infection is given the opportunity to take hold in the gums. The mildest form of gum disease is known as gingivitis. This results in inflammation of the gums, making them easier to become damaged or to bleed.
Many different factors can lead to gum disease. These include regular breathing, which constantly brings in bacteria and is hard on the gums. Smoking is another culprit, as it inhibits the gum’s ability to heal and misaligned teeth can distort the shape of the gums and allow bacteria easier opportunities to get inside. Even hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can affect the health of gums and make them more susceptible to gingivitis.
In addition to the bleeding and general soreness, gum disease can lead to a more severe version known as periodontitis. This can have a snowball effect, growing more pronounced, infecting your gums and eventually weakening them, which can lead to a loss of teeth. Your gums are an anchor that helps to hold your teeth in place. Once they become infected, they can no longer perform this role and may, in turn, infect the teeth themselves.
Added to this, there is the chance that periodontitis if left untreated, can go beyond the mouth and send its bacteria throughout the rest of your bloodstream. There have even studies that indicate a link to heart disease may be more pronounced by people that ignored the periodontitis in their mouth.
There are many reasons a person can contract gum disease. Consistent breathing through the mouth, for example, can lead to an infection of the gums as you are constantly exposing your mouth to bacteria. Regular smoking can also lead to gum disease; smoking weakens the gum’s ability to fight infection, making it more vulnerable. Increased hormonal activity during puberty, pregnancy and menopause can also lead to gum disease as hormonal changes can affect the gums. And of course, poor oral hygiene can also lead to gum disease.
If caught early, the signs of gum disease can be reversed. Once you have had gum disease, however, you will always need to be diligent to prevent its return. Many times, gum disease is coupled with other disease processes like cancer, diabetes, or arthritis. When this is the case, close monitoring is even more important.
You should visit a specialist such as a periodontist in Allen or a dental hygienist to determine the scope of your gum disease and see what procedures will be most effective. Root planing, for example, is very thorough removal of tartar both above and below the gum line. This helps get rid of any remaining plaque that may still be on the teeth. For more severe cases, flap surgery may be required. This calls for lifting the gums away from the teeth to get at all the plaque and tartar that has formed underneath.
Gum disease can be treated to slow or stop the progression. Diligent removal of debris from the teeth is important to prevent buildup. If buildup is allowed to accumulate on the teeth it is likely that the disease will return. For this reason, it is not thought that the disease is actually cured. After having been treated for gum disease it is recommended to have a special kind of teeth cleaning every 3 months to keep the disease from coming back.
Halitosis is, simply, “bad breath,” and this can be another symptom of gum disease. Because bacteria are breeding in your mouth, this can be a persistent, long-term case of halitosis that even cosmetic mouthwashes can only hide for short periods.
When it comes to gum disease, it’s essential that you take good care of your mouth, and make sure a professional regularly examines you. That way, early gum disease can be treated before it becomes serious, and serious gum disease can be addressed before you lose teeth.
Gingivitis is the first, most common, and least serious form of gum disease. Because it doesn’t usually involve pain, it is often common for people to not even realize they have it. Gingivitis is characterized by red, swollen, tender gums, which are prone to easy bleeding. Some professional dental attention, as well as diligent brushing and flossing, is usually enough to fight a gingivitis infection.
Gum pockets can be reduced to a manageable level. Once the buildup is removed changes in the gums as they heal will reduce most gum pockets to a manageable level. If gum pockets are deeper, the gums can be reshaped to help reduce the pockets and in more severe areas the bone can be grafted to fill the areas where the bone is pitted causing deep pockets.