Although nearly half of Americans have gum disease, or periodontal disease, most people either don't realize they have it or they don't believe it's a serious problem. In reality, it can contribute to more serious illnesses as well as leading to tooth loss. At Advanced Dental Concepts in Broomall, we encourage everyone to come in for a complete dental exam so we can identify and treat your gum disease before serious symptoms occur.
Plaque and tartar might not seem like an imminent threat, but they harbor bacteria that can cause gum disease. When below the gumline, these bacteria can eat away at healthy gum tissue where it connects to the teeth. This exposes the vulnerable tooth roots to decay and causes the bone that supports your teeth to dissolve away. Periodontal disease is a condition that gets progressively worse over time, which is why early gum disease detection and treatment are so important.
The first symptoms you'll see will be that your gums become irritated, inflamed, and may bleed when you brush. Eventually, your gums will recede away from your teeth and the infection will move even deeper into your jaw. You may notice your teeth starting to appear longer or you might just notice increased sensitivity to cold or sweet. As the tissues and bone structure that hold your teeth in place disappear, your teeth will eventually become loose and then fall out.
If you think that gum disease only affects your mouth, think again. Researchers have linked gum disease with serious illnesses including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and for pregnant women, low birth weight in babies. Researchers suspect that some of these disorders stem from gum infection migrating into your bloodstream. Fortunately, you can avoid these serious problems stemming from gum disease by having it treated early.
Once your gums become infected below your gumline, it is very hard to stop the infection on your own. Fortunately, Dr. Sander I. White has the tools to eliminate the infection and allow your gums to repair themselves. In most cases, periodontal disease can be stopped and reversed with a dental deep clean, also called scaling and root planing. In this procedure, Dr. White will scrub the surfaces of your teeth and roots to remove tartar and bacteria. He will also smooth the surface of the roots to allow your gums to reattach, reestablishing your natural barrier to bacteria. Dr. White may also utilize antibiotic therapy to fight your infection.
For gum disease that is more advanced, Dr. White may recommend seeing a trusted periodontist like Dr. Steven Brown in the Philadelphia area, a specialist in gum disease treatment. If your periodontal disease is too advanced to save your teeth or you've already lost some of them, Dr. White can help replace them with prosthetic teeth supported by dental implants. This will restore your ability to chew and speak as you did before and give you a complete smile again.
If you've already started to see symptoms of gum disease, schedule an appointment for a periodontal exam today. The sooner you deal with the infection, the less invasive the treatment will be and the better chance you'll have of avoiding the most serious consequences. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. We're happy to serve patients from Broomall, Philadelphia, Delaware County, and the surrounding area.