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Gum disease (also called periodontal disease) is the top cause of tooth loss among adults in the U.S., affecting patients of all ages. Caused by a buildup of harmful bacteria, gum disease occurs in stages, beginning with the mildest stage - gingivitis - and progressing to the most severe stage called periodontitis. Treating gum disease in its earliest stages is critically important for avoiding tooth loss and also avoiding the need for more serious interventions.
Inspiration Dental is a leading provider of gingivitis treatment in Riverview, using state-of-the-art technology to destroy disease-causing bacteria so teeth and gums stay healthy and strong. Think you may have gum disease? Here’s what to look for and what to do to prevent gum disease and the tooth loss it can cause.
Gum disease is caused by bacteria that form along the gum line, usually in deposits of sticky plaque or hardened tartar. As these bacteria multiply, they release toxins that irritate the gum tissue, causing the tissue to pull away from the surfaces of the teeth. As the gums contract and recede, more tooth material is exposed, and the bacteria move down the tooth, invading the areas of the tooth normally protected by the gums. Over time, the bacteria can reach the root pockets, areas of tissue and bone that surround and support the tooth root. Once there, colonies of bacteria cause infections that wind up loosening the tooth root, eventually causing the tooth to fall out.
In its very early stages, gum disease may cause few symptoms. But as it progresses, it can cause symptoms like:
Most people associate gum disease with receding gums or swollen gums, but many don’t know it’s also a leading cause of chronic bad breath. In fact, for many people, treating bad breath begins with gum disease treatment aimed at removing colonies of foul-smelling bacteria.
The key to preventing gum disease and the tooth loss it can cause is to have routine checkups and cleanings twice each year with Dr. Janis Milne, DDS, a top-rated dentist in Riverview. During these appointments, Dr. Milne will evaluate your teeth and gums for signs of disease, and each tooth will be carefully cleaned to remove plaque, tartar and bacteria. Plus, you’ll receive important guidance to help you brush and floss better - important steps in preventing disease and in treating bad breath.
When mild gum disease is detected, Dr. Milne may recommend more frequent cleanings to prevent bacterial buildup. For more severe periodontal disease, dual-wavelength laser light therapy can be used to destroy bacteria below the gum line while avoiding tissue damage and discomfort that can be caused by more traditional deep-cleaning methods like root planing and scaling. As a leading dentist in Riverview, Dr. Milne was an early adopter of laser therapy for gum disease and other treatments, helping patients avoid pain and discomfort while still receiving optimal care for their needs.
Preventing gum disease starts with a comprehensive dental exam to look for signs of disease and to prescribe treatment targeted at your specific needs. Call Inspiration Dental at 813-677-1200 and schedule your appointment today.