If you want to keep your teeth, take care of them and the gums which support and nourish them. This sounds like a simple equation, and yet, many Americans suffer from periodontal disease. Are you one of them? If so, our Port Orange dentist, Dr. Jeff Kim can help. Learn more here about gum disease symptoms, treatment options and prevention.
Oral bacteria cause gum disease
It's true. If you have inflamed, bleeding gums, food residues have become the breeding ground for bacteria, leading to an infection called gingivitis, at its beginning stages, and periodontitis, when more advanced. Typically, poor oral hygiene is the reason why food residues form plaque and tartar. Also, heredity, some medications and a lowered immune system contribute to gum disease in some people.
Signs you may have periodontal disease
Your Port Orange dentist and his team look for signs of gum disease with each routine exam and cleaning performed at Ultimate Dental Studio. These signs vary in severity, but all indicate a problem which requires attention and treatment. They are:
- Dental sensitivity to biting and chewing
- Separating, loose teeth
- Darkened, dusky gums
- Bad breath which seems impossible to get rid of
- Gum pockets deeper than three millimeters (Healthy gums fit around a tooth just as your turtleneck sweater fits around your throat.)
- Sores or pimples on the gums
- Exposed tooth roots and a "long tooth" appearance
Treatment of gum disease
If you have gingivitis, the mildest type of gum disease, improved dental hygiene practices (especially flossing) and a thorough deep cleaning should heal your gums. If the disease is more advanced, Dr. Kim may recommend a deeper cleaning and root planing which smooths root surfaces and adds antibiotic medication to gum pockets.
Additionally, Dr. Kim is highly trained in periodontics. He can perform gum grafting procedures to cover an exposed root or gum surgery which debrides infected gums.
Preventing gum disease
Brushing twice a day with a soft toothbrush for two full minutes, and careful flossing reduces plaque and tartar formation. Also, see Dr. Kim semi-annually for your routine check-up and cleaning. Be sure to eat a tooth- and gum-friendly diet, and drink water to hydrate and wash your teeth and gums. Lastly, stop smoking. It degrades gum tissue rapidly.
Find out more
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that almost half of adult Americans have some degree of periodontal disease. Wondering if you are one of them? Then, call Ultimate Dental Studio for an appointment with Dr. Jeff Kim. He'll help you have your best smile ever. Phone (386) 322-4867.