The bad news. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that 80 percent of adults in the United States have some degree of gum disease (periodontal disease). If left untreated, gum disease can lead to loss of teeth and other medical problems.
The good news. In most cases, gum disease is reversible if caught early.
Gum disease is caused by the bacteria in plaque (a sticky colorless film that forms on your teeth). This bacteria contain toxins that cause inflammation and can infect your gums, teeth and bone that supports them.
Since early gum disease may be painless and have no symptoms, scheduling regular dental cleanings and examinations are important.
If you have any of the following symptoms, please schedule an appointment immediately:
* Gums that bleed or become swollen or sore
* Chronic bad breath
* Gums that pull away from your teeth
* Pus appearing between your teeth and gums
* Changes in your bite
There are three stages of Gum Disease
1: Gingivitis: Gingivitis is a mild periodontal disease. Gums are mildly sore and may be red or puffy. Some bleeding may occur during brushing. This condition is reversible by having a hygienist clean your teeth and by religious brushing and flossing at home.
2: Periodontitis: During the second stage of gum disease, infection occurs in your tooth roots caused by the spread of plaque. This may cause damage to the bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place. Your gums may begin pulling away from your teeth. The damage can be stopped by professional dental care and improved home care including brushing with a special tooth paste, flossing and using a medicated rinse.
3: Advanced Periodontitis: In advanced cases of periodontitis disease, the prognosis is not as good. The fibers and bone holding your teeth in place have been destroyed. Your teeth can become loose. If treatment cannot save your teeth, they may have to be removed.
Dr. Khoury and the dental hygienists at the Oxford Smile Center are experts in the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease. Some of the counseling and treatment you may receive are:
* Frequent professional cleanings
* Homecare instructions
* Use of an anti-gingivitis toothpaste and soft brush
* Use of Perio-Gard® rinse
* Scaling and Root Planing to remove plaque and tarter below the gumline
* Surgical intervention if your case is very serious
If you are interested in preventing or treating gum disease, please schedule an appointment for a cleaning. Dr. Khoury and your hygienist will examine your teeth and help you keep your teeth clean and your gums healthy.