An estimated 65 million Americans have some form of gum disease, including bleeding gums, but many of them don’t know it. Also called periodontal disease, you would be surprised at how this common condition affects your smile and your general health. Fortunately, gum disease treatment in Natick is an effective way to reduce the associated risks. And since September is National Gum Care Month, it’s the perfect time to find out more. Below, you’ll learn about the impact of gum disease, the symptoms to watch for, and what you can do about it!
How Does Gum Disease Affect You?
Gum disease occurs when the gums and underlying bone that surround the roots of your teeth become inflamed and infected. These supportive structures are what keep your teeth in place. As gum disease gets worse and they’re progressively damaged, your teeth can become loose and fall out.
In addition, when gum disease is left untreated the inflammation in your mouth actually spreads throughout your body. This has been found to increase your risk of:
- Heart disease (including atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and heart attack)
- Various types of dementia such as Alzheimer’s
- Certain cancers
- Pregnancy complications like preterm birth and low birth weight
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Similar to high blood pressure, gum disease isn’t something that you “feel” happening. However, there are signs to be aware of. One of the most common symptoms of early gum disease is bleeding gums in Natick, particularly after brushing or flossing. This stage is called gingivitis and your gums may also feel tender or swollen.
In later stages, bleeding becomes more severe and you might even notice pus under your gums. You might also have chronic bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth, or loose teeth.
Gum Disease Treatment
Fortunately, gum disease treatment can improve your gums, lower your risk of tooth loss, and help you maintain good general health. The first step is having your gums assessed during a routine checkup. If everything is healthy or you simply have gingivitis, consistent cleanings and good oral hygiene at home will usually keep your gums in good shape.
If a dentist sees signs of more advanced gum disease, they’ll recommend a procedure called scaling and root planing (also called a “deep cleaning”). Depending on your needs, it’s usually completed in 2-4 visits and you’ll be numbed first to make sure you stay comfortable. Then special instruments are used to remove bacteria and tartar from under your gumline and also smooth the roots of your teeth.
Then, to help you maintain your progress after a deep cleaning, you’ll come back every 3, 4, or 6 months for maintenance cleanings. You’ll also get personalized oral hygiene tips to use at home.
Having gum disease doesn’t automatically mean you’ll lose your teeth or have poor general health. By combining professional gum disease treatment with good brushing and flossing habits, you’ll greatly benefit your gums and reduce the inflammation in your body at the same time.
About the Author
Dr. Christina Papageorgiou is an award-winning dentist in Natick with decades of experience. She focuses on prevention, early diagnosis, and effective treatment to help her patients improve their well-being and lower their risk of tooth loss. If you have any questions or concerns about your gums, she can be reached via her website.