January 28, 2020
A lot of people only look at their teeth when they flash their smile in the mirror. However, your oral health is about more than just your beautiful pearly whites! Your gums play a huge role in protecting your teeth and keeping the rest of your body healthy. In fact, if you develop gum disease, you increase your risk of both tooth loss and heart disease! Knowing how this common condition progresses can help you treat gingivitis in Ft. Collins as early as possible, so read on to learn more.
What Is Gum Disease?
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, nearly half of American adults suffer from gum disease, or periodontal disease. Although its most often caused by a buildup of plaque and oral bacteria, factors like genetics, hormones, medical conditions, and smoking can also put you at a higher risk of developing this oral health issue. While the beginning stages are relatively harmless, if left untreated, it can cause tooth loss and double your risk of heart disease. So how does gum disease progress, and how can it be treated?
Stage One: Gingivitis
When plaque builds up along your gumline, the bacteria it contains can infect your gums and cause gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. This will cause your gums to become inflamed and sensitive, and you may notice that they bleed easily when they’re brushed or flossed. Treatments for gingivitis include:
- Brushing for two minutes twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash.
- A deep cleaning from your dentist to remove bacteria underneath your gumline and smooth out the tooth roots to prevent reinfection.
- Antibiotics prescribed by your dentist to fully eradicate the infection from your gum tissue.
Stage Two: Periodontitis
If you have wobbly teeth, bumps on your gums, or chronic bad breath, you may have the advanced stage of gum disease, known as periodontitis. This means that the infection has begun to attack your jawbone and connective tissues that hold your teeth in place, which will eventually cause them to fall out. Dental experts believe that if this harmful bacteria escapes into your bloodstream, it can cause heart disease, though more research is needed to fully understand this connection. To regain better oral and overall health, your dentist may refer you to a specialist who can help you treat periodontitis with:
- Flap surgery to clean out the bacteria underneath your gums in order to completely remove the infection.
- Bone and gum grafts to reinforce areas suffering from bone loss or gum recession.
- Guided tissue regeneration to encourage jawbone growth.
You can protect your gums from infection in the first place by maintaining great brushing habits and seeing your dentist every six months for a dental checkup. However, if you do develop gum disease, periodontal therapy in Ft. Collins can help you restore your happy, healthy smile.
About the Practice
At Aspen Dental Care in Ft. Collins, CO, we want to protect your teeth and gums from oral health issues before they even start, which is why we encourage dental checkups twice a year. However, if you do develop gum disease, our skilled dentists offer periodontal therapy to effectively and comfortably get your oral health back on track and protect your smile. To learn more about taking care of your gums and the periodontal disease treatments available, we can be contacted at our website or (970) 482-3166.
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