How Do You Treat Gum Disease?

How Do You Treat Gum Disease?

By Joe McIntyre, DDS on July 15, 2021

Gum disease is a common condition in which gums become swollen, inflamed, sore, and infected. Bad breath or a foul taste in your mouth are symptoms of gum disease. Your gums may begin to recede and the teeth may become loose if the condition is left untreated.

Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal (gum) disease. According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, periodontitis affects half of the U.S. adult population.

All four stages of gum disease can be treated at Smiles for Life Dental Care serving the greater Harrisonburg, VA area from our Staunton, VA, and Bridgwater, VA, offices. What makes Smiles for Life special? We offer high-quality care in a hospitable, family-oriented atmosphere.

Periodontitis Prevention

Periodontitis is a serious condition, but thankfully avoidable for many people. Embrace the following habits to deter gum disease: 

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each.
  • Use dental floss to clean between teeth, particularly at the gum line.
  • Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.
  • Visit Smiles for Life Dental Care every six months for routine checkups and cleanings.

Gingivitis Treatment

Reduce Plaque

Plaque buildup can lead to irritating bacteria around the gums, as well as tooth decay. If not removed, plaque will harden into calculus after 48 hours. Calculus can be removed by one of our caring, talented dental hygienists. You shouldn’t try to remove it at home, as it’s very hard and can only be removed by scraping or the use of sound wave (ultrasonic) technology.

Prescribed Mouthwash

If deemed a good measure for your specific type of gingivitis, your Smiles for Life dentist may prescribe a germicidal mouthwash. An oral rinse containing chlorhexidine gluconate treats gingivitis by reducing the swelling, redness, and bleeding of the gums. 

This germicidal mouthwash must be paired with twice-daily brushing and flossing to be effective. Even if someone has the same symptoms as you, please do not share your prescribed medication mouthwash with another person.

Advanced Periodontitis Dangers and Treatments

If mild gingivitis persists without treatment, gingivitis can intensify to advanced periodontitis:

  • Bacteria eat away the bonding tissues between the teeth and gums, so periodontal pockets form.
  • This leads to more localized bacterial growth in these gum pockets.
  • This can lead to abscesses and receding gums, loose teeth, or loss of teeth. 

The effect of advanced periodontitis is tooth loss, but your smile can be improved with restorative dentistry. The Smiles for Life family offers a range of solutions to fit your individualized needs: 

  • Dental Implants
  • Same-Day Smile
  • Full-Mouth Reconstruction
  • Traditional Bridges
  • Dentures

Gum Disease Causes

Gum disease is caused by bacteria growth around the tooth and gum line. This happens for a few reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Bad Oral Hygiene: Teeth should be brushed and flossed when you wake up and before you go to bed.
  • Calculus Buildup: Bacterial plaque is a sticky film that forms on the top layer of your teeth. Plaque not removed in 48 hours hardens and forms calculus, which builds up over time.
  • Hormone Changes: Gum disease may occur temporarily during puberty and pregnancy. It usually subsides when hormones regulate.
  • Use of an Albuterol Inhaler: Gum disease is common in asthma patients who use an inhaler.

Schedule Your Appointment

Caring for your gums plays a significant part in caring for your smile and health. When left untreated, periodontitis can increase the potential for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

If you are interested in taking control of your health again or want to learn more about gum disease treatment, call (540) 828-2312 or message us at Smiles for Life.

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