Gum disease can destroy a beautiful smile. It can affect people of all ages, although it is most commonly diagnosed in adults. The deceptive part is that it can develop slowly and pain is not initially a concern in most cases. By the time many people begin to notice that they have a serious issue with the health of their gums, their teeth may already be severely compromised.
The good news is that in most instances, gum disease can be prevented. But, even if you suspect that you may have gum disease, don’t panic. The condition can be treated with the care and attention of a great dentist like Dr. Robert Harrell at Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne. In the early stages, gum disease can often be reversed.
Pay attention to your mouth
It is important for you to be an advocate for your own oral health by paying attention every time you brush your teeth. Take notice of any changes in your mouth and be sure to share them with your dental care team. Anything that seems or feels out of the ordinary is worth mentioning. Being proactive in your dental health and communicating with your dentist is the best way to get the treatment you need. Keeping your regularly scheduled check-up appointments is vital for staying healthy and minimizing your risk for gum disease.
The birth of gum disease
Our gums have a huge responsibility to help maintain the health of our mouths. They work together with bone to hold the teeth in position. Gum disease drastically alters the attachment between our teeth and our gums. Plaque is the bad guy. This sticky and clear substance is full of bacteria. Plaque forms on a daily basis on your teeth and along your gum line. Flossing and brushing every day is the only way to adequately remove it. Plaque transforms into calculus, commonly known as tartar, when it is not removed properly.
Tartar forms hard deposits on your teeth and simple flossing and brushing will not remove it. Your dental hygienist will have to use a scaler to chip the tartar away. At Adult Dentistry, ultrasonic scalers are used to offer the deepest yet least invasive cleaning possible. Gum disease sets in if proper oral care is not maintained on a consistent basis. Tartar can cause infection to occur at the point of attachment where the gums meet the teeth. Red, inflamed gums that bleed during brushing often indicate the early stages of gum disease.
Signs to watch for:
- Traces of blood in your spit or bloody residue on your toothbrush
- Puffy, irritated or bleeding gums
- Changes in the color of your gums
If gum disease is allowed to progress without treatment, teeth can become loose. Some individuals will eventually experience tooth loss as the gums become increasingly destabilized. The best way to ensure that you don’t become a victim of gum disease is to brush your teeth after every meal, floss on a daily basis and visit the dentist for regular professional cleanings.
Every time you have a dental appointment, the hygienist will check to see if there are any indications of gum disease. This is one of the main reasons maintaining a regular dental exam schedule is vital to your oral health. With the early stages of gum disease often going undetected by patients, it is helpful to have the experienced eyes of your dentist and hygienist available to keep your mouth as healthy as possible.
If it has been a while since you’ve had a complete dental exam, contact Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne today to schedule a visit with Dr. Harrell. He is recognized as one of the city’s top dentists year-after-year by Charlotte Magazine. Call Adult Dentistry now at 704-541-9888 or use the contact form on this page to make an appointment.