Diagnose Periodontal Disease With Your Cincinnati Dentist
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a common condition that affects a great number of people, many of whom, who are not aware that their oral health is suffering. This is because during the early stages of gum disease, known as gingivitis, a pain does not exist. Early detection, however, is important for the elimination of infection and the preservation of gum and bone tissue.
Gum disease should be taken very seriously. This oral disease is not only the number one cause of tooth loss, it is also linked to serious health conditions such as diabetes, bacterial pneumonia, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and high-risk pregnancies.
Certain habits may increase or decrease your risk of developing gum disease. Where smoking can increase the risk, good oral hygiene, regular dental visits and cleanings, and a healthy diet can reduce the risk.
Gum disease may have certain warning signs, such as:
- Red, swollen gum tissue.
- Bleeding occurring when brushing or flossing.
- Persistent bad breath caused by excessive bacteria.
- Loosening of teeth, as the underlying supporting fibers are weakened.
- Change in spacing between teeth as bone tissue breaks down.
- Receding gums.
- Pus gathered at the gums or around teeth.
- Tenderness from bacterial irritation.
During routine dental examinations at our West Chester practice, your Cincinnati dentist will use a small instrument to measure the space between teeth and gums. Healthy gums show a space of no more than three millimeters, and do not bleed. Space, or pockets, deeper than three millimeters signal a problem, and they will become deeper as gum disease progresses.
Gum disease is treated according to its stage. Gingivitis, in which no lasting damage has been done, can usually be treated effectively with one or two professional dental cleanings and improved oral hygiene practice.
Advanced cases of gum disease may be treated with a deep cleaning, called scaling and root planing. This procedure is performed with local anesthetic so you feel no discomfort. Once numb, the affected teeth are cleansed of plaque, tartar, and toxins, and the root surface is smoothed. Through scaling and root planing, gum tissue is able to heal and adhere to the root. Maintenance may include medicated oral rinse, an electric toothbrush, and/or medication to control infection.
Your dentist can help you either prevent or clear gum disease through personalized dental care. Contact West Chester Dental Group for your dental exam and cleaning.