February may be the month of pink hearts and cheesy Valentines, but your dentist knows it’s also a time for something else — raising gum disease awareness. This month is dedicated to it, in fact, and we are doing our part to spread the word about the condition which affects nearly half of adults over the age of 35. Keep reading to learn more, just in time for gum disease awareness month in Lititz!
What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?
Gum disease can be easy to miss in the beginning stages. Before the condition has progressed, you may notice that your gums slightly bleed when you brush and floss, or you may feel like your breath smells a little weirder than usual when you wake up or at various points throughout the day. As the disease progresses, it will be harder to ignore the bleeding gums — as the frequency will start to increase. You may also notice gum recession, or the appearance that the gums are pulling away from the teeth. Breath will smell foul most of the time, and in the very latest stages, the teeth will become loose and eventually fall out.
How Gum Disease Is Detected
Visiting your dentist regularly is the best way to ensure that your gum stay healthy — and that gum disease is treated right away if it does develop.
During regular checkups and cleanings, your dental team will look out for what are called “periodontal pockets.” These are spaces where bacteria make a home between the gums and teeth. The severity of gum disease is measured by the depth of the pockets; the deeper the space, the worse the condition — and the more critical is prompt treatment.
What Are the Treatment Options for Gum Disease?
The appropriate periodontal therapy in Lititz depends on the stage the gum disease has reached. Right at first, it may be possible to reverse through improved oral hygiene and a few extra visits to the dentist.
After the disease has progressed, your dentist may recommend scaling and root planing (SRP). This is the gold standard treatment for gum disease — and it involves cleaning above and just below the gum line, smoothing out the tooth’s root to prevent reinfection. SRP may be combined with local antibiotic treatment and is often completed over the course of a few visits to the dentist.
If the gum disease has progressed so far that SRP alone is insufficient, your dentist may partner with a specialist for surgery. Gum grafts can help to repair areas of severe recession after treatment is complete.
Whatever the appropriate treatment for your gum disease is, the important thing is getting it treated right away. But the even more critical item to remember is prevention! Through routine oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist, you can keep your smile healthy and complete for life. And that’s a worthy reminder during gum disease awareness month!
Meet the Practice
The Mor Smiles team offers decades of combined experience across various specialties in dentistry, including advanced treatment for gum disease. If you are in need of gum disease therapy or would like to be evaluated for the condition during gum disease awareness month, they invite you to contact your dentist in Lititz by calling 717-553-1793.