Over 75 percent of Americans over the age of 35 have some form of gingivitis or gum disease.
Gum disease and gingivitis are associated with heart disease, diabetes, stroke, arthritis, respiratory disease and pregnancy complications. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums is caused by an accumulation of plaque (soft, sticky, colorless bacteria) above the gum line which often causes red, swollen and tender gums that may bleed when you brush. Some symptoms of gingivitis are not painful, so if you do not visit your dentist at least every six months, gingivitis may remain undiagnosed and untreated. At this early stage of gum disease, damage can be reversed because gingivitis does not affect the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place.
During the earliest stage of Periodontitis, the supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place are already irreversibly damaged. “Pockets” which trap food and plaque form below your gum line. Proper dental treatment and improved home care can usually help prevent further damage. When periodontitis advances, the fibers and bone supporting your teeth are destroyed, which causes teeth to shift and loosen. At this stage, even aggressive treatment may not be able to save your teeth and they may need to be removed.
Prevention is the best strategy!
The key to preventing gingivitis and periodontitis is to remove the plaque and bacteria that accumulate on your teeth. Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings are extremely important.
Good at-home oral hygiene is also crucial. You can help prevent gingivitis by brushing teeth twice a day and daily flossing to clean in between teeth where your tooth brush cannot reach.
When necessary our dental hygienists treat periodontitis with scaling or planing techniques to loosen and remove the plaque and bacteria in the pockets. Following scaling or professional cleaning, it is vital to maintain good brushing and flossing habits. All of our dentists and dental hygienists at McCarl Dental Group are experts in the prevention and treatment of gum disease. McCarl dentists were voted Top Annapolis Dentists!