Hygienist discussing hygiene with patient

We Work Together to Prevent Disease

As the old adage goes, prevention is key. We want you to have and keep a beautiful, healthy smile. Your part at home includes brushing and flossing twice daily and between each meal if possible. Our part includes seeing you in the office for regularly scheduled exams, digital x-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatments and oral cancer screenings. At each visit, we review your medical history so we stay informed of your overall health, any new medications or any illnesses that may impact your dental health. These things are all helpful in preventing dental caries and gum disease.

Periodontal Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of adults aged 30 and over have periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Among adults 65 and older, over 70% have periodontal disease! And most people, who have gum disease, don’t know it because in its early stages, this disease is usually painless.

Gum disease is the number one reason for tooth loss, research suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy. Researchers are determining if inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease affects these systemic diseases and conditions.

The word periodontal means “around the tooth”. Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone.

Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease

  • Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
  • Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
  • New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
  • Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
  • Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present.
  • Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth.
  • Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
  • Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.

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