Understanding & Arresting Gum Disease

Gum disease threatens your overall health and requires periodontal therapyGum disease is a persistent bacterial infection that surrounds your teeth. It is sadly common, with up to 80 percent of adults suffering from the condition, the majority of them undiagnosed. In its early stages there is little discomfort and has few symptoms. When it progresses, however, periodontitis can have very serious consequences, including:

  • Tooth loss
  • Bone loss
  • Sinus infections
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy complications

Regular dental appointments are necessary to detect problems in its early stages.

Who is at Risk?

Everyone is potentially at risk, but there are many conditions that can increase your risk:

  • Smoking or tobacco use
  • Hormone fluctuations, such as during pregnancy
  • Stress
  • Certain medications
  • Bruxism (tooth grinding, often associated with TMJ disorder)
  • Diabetes
  • HIV and any disease resulting in immunosuppression
  • A family history of gum disease

Good oral hygiene reduces your risk, but even with good oral hygiene it is possible to get gum disease.

Treating Gum Disease

In its earliest stages, we may only recommend changes to your oral hygiene routine, such as a different brushing technique or time. We may recommend an additional appointment to check on the progress of your gum disease.

If necessary, we may also careful scrape affected tooth surfaces, irrigate gum pockets, and apply local antibiotics.

Surgical Treatments

In advanced cases, we may recommend surgery. This may include: pocket depth reduction (the most common), bone or tissue regeneration, crown lengthening, and/or soft tissue grafts. We may perform the surgery ourselves or recommend you to a qualified periodontist.

To learn what periodontal care and treatment is appropriate for you, please call (803) 781-9090 or contact Smile Columbia Dentistry today for an appointment at our Columbia, South Carolina office today.