According to the CDC, nearly half of all adults 30 years and older show some signs of gum disease, and severe gum disease affects almost 9% of adults. Global studies indicate periodontal diseases are prevalent in over half of the population worldwide. If gum disease is so common, why do so many dental patients ignore the need for regular gum disease treatment?
As the premier periodontists in Rochester, the team at Dental Implants and Periodontal Health of Rochester has seen many patients dealing with various severities of gum disease. It can be prevented with the right daily care and regular periodontal treatment.
Early Gum Disease: Gingivitis
Gum disease has two phases, the early stage, called gingivitis, and the advanced stage, called periodontitis. Signs of gingivitis include red tender gums that bleed easily.
Advanced Gum Disease: Periodontitis
In its later stages, gum disease may develop into a serious infection called periodontitis. This infection causes damage to the jawbone and causes loose or loss of one or more teeth. At this stage, periodontitis cannot be reversed with home care and must be professionally treated.
As patients get older, the commonality of periodontal disease increases. The CDC reports that 70% of adults 65 years or older have some form of periodontal disease, which is more common in women and patients who smoke.
Gum Disease Prevention and Early Maintenance
The best way to take preventive measures against gum disease is to maintain strong daily oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing twice daily is a simple shift that patients can start today.
It’s also important to keep up with regularly-scheduled periodontal cleanings. Not only will patients walk away feeling clean, fresh, and restored, but these visits also allow the periodontist to check for any new signs of oral disease and help keep it at bay.
Oral care and disease prevention is a team effort that is most successful in partnership with skilled hygienists, periodontists, and diligent patients.
The primary objective of periodontal care is to control or mitigate the infection. A periodontist will first evaluate the patient’s medical history to understand any potential health conditions or risk factors.
Once treatment begins, we will gently evaluate the teeth to look for any infected pockets, and X-rays will be taken to check for bone loss. After all examinations, the periodontist will decide which additional specialized procedures may be necessary to treat the periodontitis. Such measure include deep periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing, or more involved surgical procedures such as bone grafting, soft tissue grafting, and others.
The periodontist will also discuss your dental periodontal home care routine.
Factors that Increase the Risk for Gum Disease
Increased risk factors include tobacco use, diabetes, a variety of prescribed medications, poor oral hygiene, the patient’s age, whether or not gum disease is hereditary, and even circumstantial stress factors. If one or more of these exist, the patient could be at increased risk of developing periodontal disease.
Health Risks of Ignoring the Need for Gum Disease Treatment
Medical Research indicates that periodontal disease can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by 19%. In patients over 65 years of age, that risk level increases to 44%.
It’s also been recorded that patients with Type 2 diabetes, in addition to severe periodontal disease, have a greater mortality risk of up to 3.2 times than individuals with Type 2 diabetes who do not have periodontitis.
Signs That You Need Gum Disease Treatment
The most common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Gums that are tender or bleed easily
- Swollen gums
- Red gums
- Pain while chewing
- Chronic bad breath
- Unexplained loose teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
- Receding gum line
- Changes to bite
- Change to denture fit
Check for these signs around the gums as part of your daily oral healthcare routine. If you notice these symptoms or an increase in severity, contact your periodontist immediately.
Schedule an Appointment Today
For gum disease treatment, you need a well-qualified and expert periodontal provider. Our team is ready and eager to help you treat or prevent the effects of gum disease. Call our office today to schedule your appointment! 585-685-2005