Just say no to perio!
According to the CDC 50% of Americans have some form of periodontal disease. The scary thing about these statistics is that research is showing gum disease, while detrimental to the smile (tooth loss etc.) is connected with significant systemic complications like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis, respiratory disease and cancer. If you don’t want to become a statistic, make sure you visit Dr. Jeremy Gordon in St. Augustine Florida and his team at Gordon Dental Associates.
Gum disease goes by many names: periodontal disease, gingivitis, or periodontitis. The different names signify how the disease progresses, if left untreated over time.
Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. The good news is that if detected and treated early, gingivitis can be reversed.
The next stage of gum disease is periodontitis. During this stage, plaque has migrated below the gum line and toxins released cause an inflammatory response by the body. The gum tissue begins to pull away from the bone leaving deep pockets. Gum tissue and bone can continue to deteriorate.
If periodontitis is not treated by your dentist, eventually your teeth will loosen and fall out and you will be at much higher risk for systemic disease like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis, respiratory disease and cancer.
The warning signs
There are signs and symptoms of gum disease you can look for in order to prevent the progression of the disease. Those signs include:
- Red, swollen gums
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Visible pockets between the teeth and gums
- Loose teeth
It is important to come see Dr. Gordon immediately if you notice any of the signs of gum disease. The earlier he is able to address the infection the less damage will be done.
If you have early warning signs but the disease has not progressed too far, a change in home care and regular visits to the dentist may be enough to get the infection under control. If, however, the disease has progressed and is considered periodontitis, a treatment called scaling and root planing may be required. Scaling and root planing requires numbing the mouth and deep cleaning the pockets and exposed roots of the teeth.
Am I at risk?
There are many possible risk factors Dr. Gordon may assess when conducting an exam. However, if you have any of the following risk factors he will need to know:
- Age – studies show that over 70% of people over the age of 65 have periodontal disease
- Medication use
- Clenching or grinding your teeth
- Systemic disease such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis
- Poor diet/nutrition and/or obesity
If you have one or more of these risk factors you need to seek dental care for gum disease. If you have any questions about gum disease, or would like to schedule a consultation with your St. Augustine dentist, Dr. Gordon at Gordon Dental Associates, please feel free to give us a call at: (904) 460-0999.