What is Gum Disease?
Plaque - bacteria that accumulates on your teeth and creates toxins - causes (periodontal) disease. Your gum tissue and bones surrounding the teeth are affected by these toxins.
While it may not be painful at first and grows slowly, gum disease can have serious consequences beyond tooth loss. Since gum health is linked with many other aspects of oral and physical health, this infection can leave you at risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancer. That's why it's important that it's not allowed to progress to more serious stages.
Types of Gum Disease
The two types of gum disease are:
The early-stage gum disease gingivitis may cause gums to become sensitive, swollen and red. You might spot blood in your toothbrush or when you floss.
The more serious form of gum disease is periodontitis. At this point, the gums recede and pockets develop between the gums and teeth before filling with bacteria. Light to moderate loss of jaw bone can also occur.
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’ll ask if you’ve noticed any changes or sensitivity in your gums, whether you’ve been following your regular oral care routine, and whether can answer questions about oral hygiene and care.
Treatments for Gum Disease
At Ivory Dental, 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.
Teeth & Gum Contouring
These cosmetic procedures can help improve your smile’s overall aesthetics. Teeth contouring involves using a dental drill to shave away excess tooth material and reshaping chipped, uneven or poorly aligned teeth, while excess gum tissue is removed to contour or lift gums.