Do you find yourself wondering about the best ways to not only prevent gum disease prevention but improve your smile? Our team has the answers for you. Read on to learn more about this important topic.
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a damaging condition affecting the mouth's soft tissues and the underlying jawbone. It is broken down into two stages: the early stage is called gingivitis and the advanced stage is called periodontitis. A global study in 2020 showed that up to 50% of the world’s population has some form of periodontal disease with nearly 65 million Americans being affected. Left unchecked, this disease can cause bone loss, tooth loss, and other health problems. Not to mention, it can significantly affect how you feel about your smile.
By focusing on prevention and treatment when necessary, you can maintain and even improve your smile and oral health.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease begins as an inflammation, or swelling of the gums, caused by bacteria that are normally present in the mouth. This is the beginning stage of the disease and is also called gingivitis. The inflammation worsens when you don’t brush or floss regularly, because food particles left on the teeth are breeding grounds for more bacteria to grow, and at higher levels they become harmful to the gums and jawbone. If left unchecked, the inflammation can give way to a persistent infection known as periodontitis. The most common signs are swollen or sensitive gums, frequent bleeding when brushing or flossing, loose teeth, and a bad odor or taste in the mouth. As periodontal disease progresses, it can discolor the gums, cause a receding gumline, and in its final stages, cause tooth loss.
8 Ways to Transform Your Smile
Although it is common and its effects can be serious, tackling periodontal disease in its early stages is easy with the right approach. Once it starts, however, periodontal disease can progress quickly and aggressively, so early intervention is key. With help from a trusted dentist and hygienist, you can rebuild your smile and maintain your oral health. Here’s how.
1. Regular Cleanings Keep Gum Disease at Bay
Your dentist wants to see you regularly for a good reason: it’s the easiest way to catch periodontitis (and other issues) early enough for treatment. You can preserve and maintain your smile by scheduling a hygiene appointment at least every six months so any tartar left on hard-to-reach areas of your teeth is thoroughly cleaned off.
2. Scaling and Root Planing Treat Periodontal Disease
When periodontal disease has already taken hold, it’s not a major concern right away if addressed quickly. Non-surgical treatments, such as scaling and root planing, help control the disease's course and begin to stop the progression. This is a “deeper” cleaning that removes tartar and bacteria below the gumline. Since the beginning of periodontitis is associated with loss of bone around the teeth, tartar can start to adhere to the roots and needs to be completely removed to allow the gums to heal.
3. Veneers Can Help Hide Slight Damage
Receding gumlines are a common symptom of periodontitis. In cases where this gum recession is extremely pronounced causing gaps between your teeth, veneers can sometimes help to correct these cosmetic concerns.
4. Crowns and Bridges Offer More In-Depth Solutions
If you have damaged or lost teeth because of periodontitis, restorative treatments such as crowns and bridges can be effective treatments. However, it’s important to remember you’ll still need to treat the underlying issues first and get the periodontitis under control.
5. Healthier Gums Can Support Dental Implants
If you invest the time and effort into maintaining healthy gums, it leaves the door open for more advanced restorative procedures in the future. Dental implants, a popular choice for replacing lost and damaged teeth, are only suitable for those with healthy gums and sufficient jawbone.
6. Straightening Can Help Prevent Periodontal Disease
Crooked and crowded teeth often contribute to periodontal disease progression by making it difficult to effectively clean tartar trapped in between the teeth. In many instances, periodontal disease also contributes to gaps forming in between the teeth and has commonly caused the front teeth to start to flare out. You can talk to your dentist about straightening teeth that are overcrowded to prevent disease progression.
7. Whitening Solutions Are Less Likely to Irritate Healthy Gums
Many people apply whitening solutions to keep their smile bright. When you have advanced periodontal disease, however, the chemicals involved can be more irritable to the gums so it is not recommended until the disease is properly treated. Add one more thing to the list of reasons of why to brush and floss regularly.
8. More Serious Cases May Require Surgery or Laser Treatment
When gum disease advances beyond basic care methods such as scaling and root planing, it’s time to consider elevating the issue to a Periodontist, or gum specialist. Periodontists specialize in more advanced treatments and can surgically clean the gums and remove tartar stuck deep on the roots of the teeth. New laser therapy has also become increasingly popular because it is less invasive and can be equally as effective. Restoring the gums through grafts and other procedures is another option for areas with receding gumlines.
Find Friendly and Experienced Help Today
Keeping the gums healthy can be one of the trickiest oral hygiene tasks that you face. However, when you do, you keep the door open for a wide range of cosmetic dentistry procedures that can transform your smile and restore its brilliance. Thoughtful care for your gums can help prevent some, or all the effects of gum disease while also giving you the same opportunities to smile with confidence.
With Dr. Nargiz I. Zadeh and her team, you can explore these solutions and more in a comfortable and highly professional environment. Enjoy attentive care and cutting-edge dental techniques in a space where you can feel at ease. Book an appointment with us today to learn more.
Testimonial from Evan G., West Hollywood Resident and Patient
I cannot say enough good things about Dr.Nargiz and the staff at her office. I am always impressed by the professionalism of the staff each time I come in for an appointment.
Debbie is always accommodating over the phone or in person. She is the go-to person when it comes to anything appointment-related, always listening and ensuring the most efficient experience. I have had multiple appointments ranging from cleaning to fillings to regular dental health checkups and my experience is always above and beyond. My experience with this office has been such a relief that I will always be a loyal patient.