taking care of gums with flossing

You have a much greater chance of keeping your teeth for life than anyone else in history. In the past few decades, advances in dental medicine of the have made it possible for oral health problems to be treated and resolved more efficiently than ever before. People still lose their teeth, however. You can have a perfect set of cavity-free teeth, but still wind up replacing them with dentures if you neglect your gum health.

Do you need a periodontist, Clinton NJ? Drs. Carson Ferris-Zeolla and Victoria Uryniak can help you keep your gum disease symptoms under control, so you can keep your teeth for life. Contact our office online to make an appointment.

Why is Gum Health Important?

Having strong healthy teeth is important, but without healthy gum tissue those teeth become unstable. Like a tree that loses the soil supporting its roots, teeth affected by gum erosion cannot stand. Gum disease treatments can help you minimize your symptoms, but they cannot cure it. Neglect the health of your gums for too long, and you lose your chance to hold onto your teeth for life.

What is Gum Disease?

Periodontitis (gum disease) can affect anyone at any age but is more common in adults over 35. Gum disease is diagnosed when mouth bacteria have colonized the gum tissue, specifically the pockets of space between the teeth and gums. As bacteria live and thrive in periodontal pockets, they release acids that slowly inflame and destroy healthy gum tissue and cause the gums to pull away from the teeth. As the gum tissue dies, it reveals the dentin of the tooth, which is far more vulnerable to decay than the enamel of a tooth—thus it also leads to cavities.

Signs of gum disease:

  • Bleeding gums, when you brush or floss
  • Sore, inflamed gum tissue
  • Red gum tissue (healthy gums are pink)
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gum tissue
  • A feeling of looseness in the teeth

Luckily, gum disease has a precursor form that can be identified and reversed when noticed in time. If you’ve been told you have gingivitis, you should consider yourself very lucky (!) because you can still avoid a gum disease diagnosis. If your gingivitis develops into periodontitis, however, there is no cure.

Who Gets Gum Disease?

There are some factors that make you more likely to develop gum disease. Tobacco use is one, as is excessive alcohol use. However, the most common risk factor is neglect. If you fail to brush and floss your teeth properly, every day, you are far more likely to wind up with gum disease. It’s also important to maintain regular dental visits every six months, so your doctor can monitor your gum health and make recommendations if bacterial infection is noticed.

Unfortunately, some medical conditions can make you more likely to develop gum disease, such as diabetes and auto-immune disorders. If you take medications that cause dry mouth, this can also encourage the onset of gum disease.

How Prevalent is Gum Disease?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) half of all Americans over 30 have periodontal disease. This is an alarming statistic, especially considering the fact that reversible gingivitis is not counted in those numbers. This means that there are a lot of people out there who should be getting periodontal treatments who probably aren’t.

Is Gum Disease Curable?

Gum disease is not curable, but it is treatable. While it’s not possible to completely remove the bacterial infection from the gum tissue, there are treatments that can reduce the numbers and prevent the kind of damage that leads to lost teeth.

If you seek out periodontal treatments with a periodontist, Clinton NJ, you are far more likely to hold onto your teeth for life! Perio treatments consist primarily of deep cleanings and smoothing the tooth roots (also called scaling and root planing), but may also include, medication, prescription rinses, or surgery.

If you’ve ever been given a gingivitis or periodontitis diagnosis, you need to add perio treatments to your oral health care regimen! Contact our dentists at Walnut Pond for treatment.  contact us online or call our office at 908-200-7007 for a periodontist, Clinton NJ.