When it comes to good dental health, did you know that caring for your gums is just as important as caring for your teeth? Rehoboth Beach Dental offers periodontal services to help prevent and treat mild to advanced periodontal (gum) disease.
Periodontal disease affects much more than your gums. It has been linked to serious health conditions including heart disease and diabetes. While most people typically don’t develop gum disease until they are in their 30s and 40s, it is possible to develop gum disease earlier, particularly if you have a strong family history or other risk factors like smoking. Certain medications may make you more susceptible to gum disease because they have a tendency to dry out your mouth, and health conditions that weaken your immune system also can contribute to the early development of periodontal disease.
How Does Periodontal Disease Develop?
When bacteria and other debris gather on your teeth, the result is plaque. Regular brushing helps to eliminate most of this plaque, but over time, remaining plaque hardens into tartar, which is much harder to remove. Professional cleanings by dental hygienists remove the tartar that has collected on your teeth and under the gumline. If this is not done regularly and the bacteria and tartar remain on your teeth, the result is gum inflammation and, eventually, infection. This is periodontal disease.
Do I Have Periodontal Disease?
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please call to make an appointment at Rehoboth Beach Dental so that you can be evaluated for periodontal disease:
- Persistent bad breath
- Gums that are swollen, dark red, painful, or that bleed easily
- Pain while chewing
- Receding gums that cause your teeth to appear longer
- Loose teeth
Treating and Preventing Periodontal Disease
Preventing periodontal disease can be as simple as brushing twice daily and flossing every evening along with seeing us twice yearly for examinations and professional cleanings by one of our skilled and gentle dental hygienists. Avoiding smoking is also important when it comes to preventing periodontal disease.
Sometimes, unfortunately, this is not enough. If you are developing periodontal disease, we will carefully evaluate the progression of your disease and work with you to develop a plan that will meet your needs. Our evaluation will include a thorough examination and possibly digital radiography to see what is going on beneath the gum line. We also use a special ruler that allows us to measure any pockets that exist between your teeth and your gums. The measurement of these pockets gives us a good idea of the condition of your gums and allows us to track the progression (or reversal) of your gum disease.
Some of the treatment options available for periodontal disease include:
- Antimicrobial mouthwash
- Scaling and root planing
- Antibiotic treatments placed into the pockets of your gums during a scaling and planing treatment
- Oral antibiotics
In some advanced cases, surgery may be needed to treat the condition. Hopefully, we can treat and reverse the disease before it progresses to this point.
Call our office today to find out more about periodontal disease and to schedule an appointment.