January 21, 2019
Did you know that an estimated 65 million Americans have gum disease? It can be easy to think, “What’s the big deal? As long as I don’t have cavities, my smile is healthy.” However, there’s a lot more to a healthy smile than teeth alone! Not only that, but studies have shown a strong link between your gums and your overall health, which makes it even more important to make sure gum disease is diagnosed and treated. In this blog, you’ll learn more about this common condition and what causes it as well as how gum disease therapy can help!
What Causes Gum Disease?
Some of the factors that cause gum disease are in your control and some aren’t. Poor oral hygiene habits, skipping professional checkups and cleanings, and smoking are all risk factors that you can do something about.
However, risk factors like heredity, diabetes and heart disease are either entirely or mostly out of your control. Having said that, working with your medical doctor to manage diabetes and heart disease is helpful as these conditions are both a cause and effect of gum disease.
How Does Gum Disease Affect Your Oral and General Health?
This surprises most people, but gum disease is actually the leading cause of tooth loss. It’s also been found to increase the risk for all of the following:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory problems
- Some Cancers
- Pregnancy complications
How Can You Improve Your Gum Health?
For patients who only have the first stage of gum disease (called gingivitis), it can usually be cured with good oral hygiene habits and regular cleanings. And, although advanced gum disease can’t be cured, it can be treated to prevent it from progressing.
The first step? Scheduling a routine checkup, which includes a gum examination. If you have gum disease, a dentist can provide gum disease therapy such as:
- Scaling and root planing – Also called a “deep cleaning,” this is often the first treatment that’s recommended and is typically done in 2-4 visits. In order to thoroughly remove plaque and bacteria from under the gumline, you’ll be numbed for comfort beforehand.
- Soft-tissue laser – This is a fantastic option because it precisely targets bacteria to heal infected gum tissue. It also has the significant advantage of much less discomfort and faster healing for patients.
- Surgery – For severe gum disease, a dentist may refer you to a periodontist (gum specialist) who can offer surgical options to help prevent tooth loss.
Gum disease is far more serious than most people realize, but with one of these gum therapy options, you can have a healthy smile and healthy body!
About the Author
Dr. Patrick Crowley is a general dentist in Oklahoma City and also a native of the area. He always closely evaluates every aspect of his patients’ oral health, including their gum health, because he knows how important it is. He also provides diagnosis, early intervention, and effective gum therapy to help patients minimize the impact of gum disease. If you have any other questions, he can be reached via his website.
No comments yet.
RSS feed for comments on this post.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.