Gum disease affects approximately 80% of adults in America, and its severe form—periodontitis—is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. The good news is that gum disease preventable; however, if you’re one of the 80% of adults in America affected by the incurable disease, then the news probably isn’t as beneficial to you. Luckily, gum disease is as manageable as it is preventable, and your Des Moines dentist, Dr. Burds, explains how to properly care for your gums to prevent or manage gum disease.
What to Look For
Although it’s one of the most destructive diseases that can affect your smile, gum disease begins with a relatively simple bacterial infection, typically resulting from inadequate hygiene. The sticky plaque that adheres to your teeth and gums contains myriad kinds of oral bacteria. When plaque accumulates along your gum line, these germs can lead to an infection (called gingivitis) that damages the connective tissue anchoring your gums to your teeth, leading to gum recession, inflammation, and bleeding gums. If your gums appear red and swollen, or if they bleed when you brush your teeth, visit Dr. Burds as soon as possible to prevent the onset of gum disease.
Caring for Your Gums
With prompt action, gingivitis can typically be reversed with advanced periodontal therapy and an improved dental hygiene routine. If allowed to progress, however, gum disease can damage your gums and the jawbone underneath, possibly costing you one or more teeth. Your exact course of treatment depends on the extent of damage caused by gum disease, but the sooner you detect and treat it, the more likely you are to avoid extensive damage.
Prevent or Treat Gum Disease with Your Des Moines Dentist
To learn more about preventing gum disease, or to learn more about your options for treatment, schedule an appointment with your Des Moines dentist by calling Gateway Dental Group at (515) 244-9565. Located in the 50309 area, we proudly welcome patients from Des Moines, River Bend, Kirkwood Glen, East Village, and neighboring communities.