Brookline, MA dentists explain preventing gum disease as part of gum disease treatments
Gum disease is a common dental problem among adults. Nearly 50 percent of adults over 30 have some form of gum disease, and the number increases with age. Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss. In Brookline, MA, Dr. Stan Kovtun and the team at Alpha Plus Dental Center offer gum disease treatments to protect the health of your smile.
Symptoms and stages of gum disease
The gums are the pink supportive tissues at the base of our teeth. Signs of infected gums include redness, swelling, bleeding, or sensitivity. These are the first signs of periodontal disease or gum disease. The problem starts small and becomes more destructive as the bacteria spreads throughout the gums and mouth.
Periodontal disease does not just suddenly appear or escalate. The symptoms appear gradually and then escalate if not treated. Gum disease is caused by plaque that builds up on the teeth. If the plaque is not removed with good oral hygiene practices, the bacteria spread into the gums. As the bacteria spread without treatment it leads to dental and health issues including the loss of teeth.
The stages of periodontal disease range from mild to severe. Gingivitis is the first and most common stage. Patients with gingivitis may notice that their gums have become red or sensitive. When brushing, the gums may bleed. Untreated gingivitis becomes periodontitis. Bacteria cause the gums to recede and pull away from the teeth. Bacteria are able to spread into the spaces and cause infections. Advanced periodontitis is the most severe stage of gum disease. There may be damage to the teeth, bones, gums, and connective tissues.
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Preventing gum disease
Gum disease comes with serious dental and health consequences. However, it is preventable. Prevention is the preferred method of treatment. Following good oral hygiene habits at home and maintaining regular visits to your dentist helps preserve the health of your teeth and gums. Your dental team can educate you and review proper home oral care to improve your overall wellness. Good hygiene tips to protect the health of your gums may include:
- Brush your teeth at least twice per day, once in the morning and once before going to bed. If possible, brush after meals as well.
- Floss daily to remove particles that may have accumulated between your teeth.
- Rinse with mouthwash or an oral irrigator daily. This helps remove particles in hard-to-reach areas or along the gum line that you may have missed.
- Replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three to six months. A toothbrush with broken or crushed bristles is not as effective as a new brush.
- Visit your dentist every six months for cleanings and exams.
Regular dental appointments help patients prevent gum disease and keep their mouths healthy. Routine visits are scheduled every six months. This precise spacing ensures that if new issues arise, the problems can be handled promptly and effectively. Signs of gum disease can be treated before it escalates.
Gum disease treatments
If you do notice symptoms of periodontal disease, contact your dental professional even if it is between routine appointments. The earlier an issue is addressed, the better the outlook. No matter what stage of periodontal disease you are in, treatment options are available to prevent the spread of the disease. The treatment used depends upon your symptoms and the stage of your condition.
Gingivitis is reversible and easily treated. Treatment often includes a deep cleaning and maintaining good oral health habits. A professional cleaning with your dental team removes plaque and prevents the spread of bacteria. In later stages of periodontal disease, professional dental care keeps the disease from worsening.
Dr. Kovtun is experienced in treating gum disease. Treatment options may include:
- Professional deep cleaning removes the buildup of plaque and bacteria. Cleanings may be needed more than twice per year.
- Laser treatment can treat active infections.
- Ozone therapy can be used as a periodontal therapy. It treats diseased tissue and is able to reach areas of the mouth that cannot be reached with other methods. Ozone is a powerful tool to safely, effectively destroy pathogens and improve circulation to speed healing.
Gum disease is preventable. Protect the health of your mouth with routine dental care. Contact Dr. Stan Kovtun and the team at Alpha Plus Dental Center in Brookline, MA. Call (617) 277-6360.