Gum Disease


Woman is in pain from gum disease and needs to see dentist at Florida Prosthodontics
Gum disease is a serious oral health condition. Taking proper care to prevent it essential. In addition to brushing and flossing every day, it is also necessary to have your teeth professionally cleaned once every 6 months. Skipping any part of your oral hygiene regimen, even occasionally, can significantly increase your risk. If gum disease does develop Florida Prosthodontics can help.

What is Gum Disease?


Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, occurs as a result of a bacterial infection. When bacteria build up in your mouth, they irritate your sensitive gum tissue. This irritation triggers a response from your immune system, which causes your gums to become inflamed. These early symptoms, as well as bleeding when you brush and floss, are easily treated, but often overlooked. As a result, gum disease continues to get worse.

As the condition worsens, your gum tissue begins to pull away from your teeth, forming pockets. Bacteria collect in these pockets, which causes the tissue to continue to pull away and the pockets to grow deeper. Bacteria also begin attacking periodontal ligaments and your jawbone, weakening these supportive structures. The longer you go without treatment, the worse the condition becomes, and can ultimately result in tooth loss.

Am I at Risk for Gum Disease?


There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing gum disease. These factors include:
•  Poor oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing help to eliminate plaque and bacteria buildup. When you skip out on these habits, even occasionally, your risk greatly increases.
•  Crooked teeth. Misaligned teeth create hiding places for plaque and bacteria, and make your teeth more difficult to clean.
•  Using tobacco products. Smoking and other tobacco products slow blood flow and reduce oxygen levels in your bloodstream. This reduces the ability of your body to effectively fight off infection.
•  Dry mouth, or xerostomia. When you have dry mouth, your mouth becomes an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. This condition can be caused by several issues such as excessive alcohol consumption, certain medications, and certain types of health conditions.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease


There are several symptoms that can point toward gum disease. The symptoms you experience will depend on how advanced the condition is. Symptoms of gum disease include:
•  Red, swollen gums.
•  Bleeding when you brush and floss.
•  Gum recession. This causes your teeth to appear longer. You may also notice small spaces between your teeth.
•  Tooth sensitivity, which often occurs as a result of gum recession.
•  Chronic bad breath.
•  Loose teeth.
•  Tooth loss.

How is Gum Disease Treated?


Treatment for gum disease will depend on how severe your condition is. After a thorough oral exam, we can determine the extent of the condition and which treatment or treatments will provide you with the best results. Common treatments for gum disease include:
•  Scaling and root planing, or a deep cleaning of your teeth that involves cleaning all surfaces above and below your gum line.
•  Periodontal maintenance. These are regularly scheduled appointments designed to help your gums continue to heal.
•  Pocket reduction surgery, which helps to reduce the depths of pockets too deep to clean with scaling and root planing.
•  Osseous surgery. This surgery is often done along with pocket reduction surgery when the bacteria have affected the jawbone. The procedure smooths your jawbone, allowing the gums to reattach effectively.
•  Soft tissue grafting. This surgical procedure is done to restore a healthy, natural gum line following gum recession.
•  Bone grafting. A bone graft is done to restore missing bone mass, and is typically done before dental implants are placed if the jaw is too weak.

Treating gum disease is essential for restoring the health of your mouth. Following treatment, it is imperative that you take action to prevent it from occurring again. If you notice any signs of symptoms of gum disease, call Florida Prosthodontics at (321) 252-9950 to schedule your consultation today.

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Florida Prosthodontics | www.floridaprosthodontics.com | (321) 252-9950
2180 N. Courtenay Parkway, Merritt Island, FL 32953
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