If you knew the majority of American adults were suffering from a condition linked to heart disease, diabetes, and breast cancer, we know you’d be concerned — unfortunately, it’s true. Over half of people older than 35 in our country are dealing with gum disease, the condition that has been linked to serious issues with systemic health. The gums are the gateway to the rest of our body, and they provide easy entry of bacteria into the bloodstream. Their continued health is crucial. Your dentist in Philadelphia has more information on the prevention and treatment of gum disease below.
How Does Gum Disease Start?
Gum disease is most frequently caused by poor dental hygiene and/or tobacco use. Certain medications causing dry mouth can also contribute to the development of the condition. People over the age of 35 are more likely to have gum disease, and the risk increases again over age 65. Diseases that affect the immune system, like diabetes or advanced stage cancers, are likely to exist alongside gum disease.
In its initial stages, you may not notice anything is wrong with the health of your gums. Be on the lookout for gums that bleed after brushing or flossing, for foul-smelling breath, or for increasingly sensitive teeth. In its earliest stages, gum disease is easy to reverse with improved dental hygiene. But as gum disease progresses, teeth may become loose — and eventual tooth loss is likely to occur in the latest stages of gum disease.
Preventing Gum Disease Is Easy
Gum disease prevention is simple with excellent dental hygiene and routine visits to your dentist. Maintain a balanced, nutritious diet, drink plenty of water, and avoid tobacco use to keep your teeth and gums healthy and infection-free.
When you stay on top of your six month checkups and cleanings at Horsham Dental Elements, your dental hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar that cause infected gums. We will also measure the depth of the pockets between your teeth and gums to determine if you need gum disease treatment, or periodontal therapy.
Treatment for Gum Disease in Philadelphia
Deep pockets between your teeth and gums indicate the need for gum disease treatment. Your doctor at Horsham Dental Elements uses soft tissue laser treatment to provide more effective periodontal therapy for patients with gum disease. Scaling and root planing is the most common treatment for moderate levels of periodontal infection. To perform this treatment, Dr. Henkel cleans above and below the gum line with the soft tissue laser. This approach eliminates the need for the scalpel and sutures, for a smoother procedure and a faster recovery. Scaling and root planing may be combined with antibiotic therapy to fully heal the gum infection.
Are you suffering from periodontal disease? Your gums are the gateway to the rest of your body — seek treatment to improve your overall health. And even if your gums are healthy, continued preventive care will keep them that way. Contact Horsham Dental Elements to schedule an appointment with Dr. Henkel today!