The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta says that gum disease affects close half of American adults over the age of 30. From mild gingivitis to devastating periodontitis, gum problems impact your teeth and your overall health. What is gum disease in Bloomfield Hills, and what are its symptoms? How can you prevent this worrisome oral health problem, and how do Dr. David Banda and his colleagues at Cranbrook Dental Care work to heal it?
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontitis
During a routine dental exam, your dentist in Bloomfield Hills checks for signs of gum disease. He uses a small probe to measure the depth of gum pockets, the space between the gum tissue and tooth roots. Healthy pocket depth is no more than three millimeters. Deeper pockets mean the patient has active gum disease.
Deep gum pockets often are accompanied by:
- Reddened gum tissue
- Gum and bone recession
- Persistent bad breath (halitosis)
- Bleeding when brushing and flossing
- Change in the fit of a denture or in dental bite
Normal gum tissue is pink and firm, forming a little collar, similar to a turtleneck sweater, around each tooth. When plaque and tartar accumulate, infection and inflammation occur in varying degrees, and this collar pulls away from the tooth, exposing the roots.
Often, periodontitis starts when people neglect good oral hygiene habits, and bacteria-filled plaque and tartar push against the gums, deteriorate the underlying bone and loosen teeth. Tooth loss is almost unavoidable when periodontitis is severe.
Additionally, pregnant women are prone to gum disease, and heredity contributes to the likelihood of developing this oral health problem. The American Academy of Periodontology says chronic stress increases it, and smokers suffer from it because of the toxins in cigarettes.
Physicians and dentists observe links between gum disease and systemic problems such as:
- Type-2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Chronic respiratory infections
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Gum Disease Treatments
Your dentist in Bloomfield Hills believes routine preventive dentistry and good at-home brushing and flossing protect both children and adults from gingivitis (mild gum disease) and periodontitis. Additionally, a well-hydrated and nutritious, low-carbohydrate diet benefit dental and gingival health.
Of course, your dentist at Cranbrook Dental Care asks to see his patients twice a year for oral exams and hygienic cleanings. Exams reveal gum problems as they develop, sometimes even before patients exhibit obvious symptoms. Hygienic cleanings remove plaque and tartar that brushing and flossing often miss.
If you dentist diagnoses active gum disease, he or she usually treats it with “deep cleaning,” a gentle scaling of tooth surfaces and roots to remove hard tartar. The hygienist uses hand tools to eliminate these deposits and rinses them away. The dentist may instill antibiotics to heal the infection.
Know How Your Gums Are
When you come to his office, Dr. Banda and his team will examine all aspects of your oral health, including that of your gums. If you need a routine appointment, contact Cranbrook Dental Care to speak to a staff member. With healthy gums, you will reap the benefits of a great smile for years to come.