How Gum Disease Develops
Maintaining meticulous oral hygiene is the single most important component of preventing gum disease. This is because gum disease begins with plaque, the sticky biofilm that naturally collects on the teeth and gums. The plaque left behind after insufficient brushing and flossing will eventually harden along the gum line and transform into a substance called tartar, which can only be removed by your hygienist with a special dental tool. Hard tartar causes your gums to separate from your teeth, creating openings called periodontal pockets that collect food debris and oral bacteria. The resulting inflammation and infection of your gums is called gum disease, or periodontal disease.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
In the earliest stages of periodontal disease, you may notice that your gums are swollen or bleed easily. As your condition advances, you will experience pain, tooth sensitivity, bad breath, and receding gums. If left untreated, the supporting structures of your teeth, including the jawbone tissue, will deteriorate, causing tooth loss.
The Mouth-Body Connection
Gum disease can not only wreak havoc on your oral health but also on other areas of your body. Many oral health problems can affect your overall health, with gum disease leading the pack. Studies show that diabetics are more likely to have gum disease, which in turn makes blood sugar harder to control. Periodontal disease has also been linked to cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and preeclampsia, a pregnancy condition that causes women to deliver preterm babies with low birth weights.
Advanced Dental Technology for Gum Disease Diagnosis
Your family dentist in Rochester employs voice recognition software and dental software to record changes in gum tissue. She or he also employs intraoral cameras to monitor gum recession. These technologies can detect and record bleeding, swelling, or gum tissue loss, so Dr. Calcagno and Dr. Brodersen can catch the minutest changes at the earliest possible stages and provide the most effective treatment.
Treatment of Gum Disease
Getting your gum disease under control is imperative to avoid tooth loss and overall health problems. In the earliest stages, your symptoms can often be reversed with a deep cleaning. Called scaling and root planing, this cleaning extends beneath the gum line to remove debris from the periodontal pockets and polish the tooth root to create a smooth surface that is less likely to collect plaque and bacteria. After a deep cleaning, your gums can form a healthy reattachment to your teeth. Dr. Calcagno and Dr. Brodersen may also prescribe antimicrobial mouth rinses or antibiotics to help treat your infected gums.
Learn More About Maintaining Your Gum Health
Untreated gum disease not only leads to tooth loss, but it can also significantly influence your overall health. To keep an eye on your gum health, schedule a consultation with our experts by calling Calcagno Cosmetic and Family Dentistry today at (507) 281-3659. Conveniently located in Rochester, MN, our office also welcomes patients who live in Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, Austin, and all surrounding communities.