January 26, 2017
From mild gingivitis to aggressive periodontitis, gum disease affects almost half the adults over 30 in the United States, says the CDC in Atlanta. Beyond age 65, the number increases to about two-thirds of adults. Can you prevent this major cause of tooth loss and threat to systemic health? Yes, you can, but when the condition has already started, you must get skilled periodontal therapy in Worcester from your dentists at Common Park Dental.
The Signs of Gum Disease in Worcester
Your dentists at Common Park Dental, Dr. Ron Hsin, Dr. Joao Wang and Dr. Kevin Guze (periodontist), cite several tell-tale signs of gum disease. However, many patients are unaware they have problems, or they ignore signs such as blood in the sink when brushing.
Your dentist, on the other hand, will recognize the following as diagnostic for gum disease:
- Reddened gum tissue
- Persistent bad breath
- A “long in the tooth” appearance
- Gum and jaw bone recession
- Exposure of tooth roots
- Deep spaces between teeth and gums (periodontal pockets)
- Tooth mobility and gaps between teeth
- Tooth loss
- Change in the fit of a denture
The longer gum disease persists without treatment, the more widespread the consequences are. Researchers see a link between systemic disease and periodontitis. Overall health problems can include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Metabolic syndrome
- Type-2 diabetes
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Pregnancy complications
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Dr. Guze has done extensive work in periodontics and believes your oral health impacts your systemic well-being. As such, careful inspection of your gum tissue is part of every routine oral exam at Common Park Dental.
Treating Gum Disease
The professional team at Common Park Dental diagnoses gum disease by visual observation and by gently measuring periodontal pockets. Pockets deeper than three millimeters are diagnostic for gum disease.
Many cases of gingivitis and periodontitis may be treated by manual tooth scaling to remove plaque and tartar and root planing to smooth root surfaces. Others require instillation of antibiotics to heal infection. Gum contouring removes diseased tissue and evens the gum line, and gum grafting procedures cover exposed roots with the patient’s own tissue.
Preventing Gum Disease
While your dentist successfully treats gingivitis and periodontitis, the optimal treatment really is prevention. To keep gums healthy, Dr. Guze and his colleagues advise:
- Daily flossing and twice a day brushing to remove toxic plaque and its associated bacteria
- Drinking eight glasses of water a day (or more) to hydrate and wash teeth and gums
- Eating a nutritious diet, including fruits and fibrous vegetables daily (limit sugar and carbs, too)
- Coming to Common Park Dental twice a year (or as your dentist recommends) for oral exams and cleanings
Patients who struggle with gum disease (seniors, pregnant women, diabetics or people who are immunosuppressed) should go to the dentist more often. The American Academy of Periodontology advises all dental patients get comprehensive periodontal examinations annually.
Make a Move Toward Better Gum Health
Your gums are too important to neglect. Contact Common Park Dental for your routine cleaning and exam, and stay ahead of gum disease and other oral health problems. Smile well for life!
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