Gum disease affects almost half of adults aged 30 and over in the United States, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Jane L. Dodson recommends that you maintain a committed home care routine and come to Bainbridge Dental Associates for six-month checkups, so that plaque can be professionally removed. Call the office in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, or use the convenient online booking tool to make your appointment.
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria and plaque buildup. In the early stages of gum disease, you may not even know you have it. But if left unchecked, gum disease makes your gums bleed and gives you bad breath. In later stages, it may even cause tooth loss.
Things that increase your risk for gum disease include smoking, diabetes, and using medications that cause dry mouth.
The three progressive stages of gum disease are:
Gingivitis. This is the earliest stage, and it causes inflammation of the gums, especially at the gumline. You’ll know you have it because your gums are tender and may bleed when you brush your teeth. Gingivitis is reversible with proper treatment.
Periodontitis. At this stage, pockets form in the gums where they meet your teeth. Continued infection causes irreversible damage to the the connective tissues and bone that holds your teeth in place.
Advanced periodontitis. By the time you reach this final stage, the connective tissue and bone securing your teeth are ruined. Your teeth may have loosened and shifted, which affects your bite. In many cases, your teeth will need to be removed.
Dr. Dodson and the staff at Bainbridge Dental Associates are committed to preventive care and patient education. They want you to have a healthy bright smile and will work with you to help prevent gum disease.
Yes. Gum disease can be treated, especially in the early stages. If you notice bleeding when you brush your teeth, make sure you let Dr. Dodson know at your next checkup. Pay extra attention to flossing and brushing at home and make sure you visit Bainbridge Dental Associates every six months for professional cleaning and scaling, which removes plaque from below the gum line.
In the most severe cases, Dr. Dodson may perform a procedure called root planing, which smoothes out the surface of the tooth root making it difficult for plaque to cling to.
Recent research suggests a connection between preterm delivery, low birthweight babies, and gingivitis. The theory is that bacteria from the mother’s mouth travels through her bloodstream and to the baby through the placenta, causing changes that may induce labor before the baby is full term.
If you’re pregnant or are planning to have a baby, Dr. Dodson recommends that you keep to a diligent home dental care routine and make sure you schedule your six-month checkup at Bainbridge Dental Associates.