Gum disease can threaten your oral health and cause other problems. Our Calgary dentists explain how to prevent periodontitis and improve gum health.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum (periodontal) disease is caused by plaque – bacteria that build up on your teeth and create toxins. These toxins affect the gum tissue and bones surrounding the teeth.
Despite the fact that it may be initially painless and progress slowly, gum disease can have serious consequences. Not only could you lose your teeth, but this infection can also increase your risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. This is because gum health is interconnected with many other aspects of oral and physical health. Therefore, it is crucial that we prevent it from progressing to a more severe stage.
Types of Gum Disease
The two types of gum disease include:
Gingivitis is an early-stage gum disease. At this point, gums may become sensitive, red, and swollen, and you may spot blood in your toothbrush or when you floss.
Periodontitis is the most severe form of periodontal disease. At this stage, the gums recede and bacteria colonize the spaces between the gums and teeth. Mild to moderate jawbone loss is also possible.
Teeth lose support as your gums, bone, and periodontal ligament break down. Moderate to severe bone loss in your jaw may occur, and your teeth can become loose or fall out.
How to Maintain & Improve Gum Health
Though gum disease has scary outcomes, most cases are preventable with good oral hygiene and regular checkups. Here’s what you can do at home and how your dentist can help:
- Brush at least twice daily
- Floss once per day
- Rinse thoroughly with an alcohol-free anti-gingivitis mouthwash
- See your dentist regularly and let them know about any changes, gum sensitivity or soreness
What Your Dentist Can Do for Your Gums
Your dentist provides professional cleanings and tracks your oral health so any problems can be spotted early.
They will ask if you have noticed any changes or sensitivity in your gums, if you have been following your regular oral hygiene routine, and if you can answer questions regarding oral hygiene and care.
Treatments for Gum Disease
At Pensak Houghton Dentistry, we offer a variety of options to help you maintain healthy gums, and prevent and treat gum disease:
To treat early-stage gum disease, we recommend frequent hygiene appointments, deep cleanings and specialized home care routines.
This surgical procedure thickens gums, protects against the damaging effects of gum recession and can help improve the appearance of your smile.
Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Surgery
The Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique is a scalpel- and suture-free gum recession treatment option. A dentist makes a small hole in the patient's existing gum tissue using a needle and then uses special instruments to gently loosen the gum tissue. The gum line is adjusted gently to conceal the root structure.
Teeth & Gum Contouring
These cosmetic procedures can enhance the overall appearance of your smile. Tooth contouring involves shaving away excess tooth material and reshaping chipped, uneven, or poorly aligned teeth with a dental drill, while excess gum tissue is removed to contour or lift gums.