Know Your Odds Of Having Gum Disease

  • February 17, 2016

You have a 1 in 700,000 chance of being struck by a meteorite. You have a 1 in 12,000 chance of being struck by lightning.

Do you know your chances of having gum disease? If you are over 30 and live in the United States, it’s 1 in 2.

It you want to get technical, 47.2 percent of American adults over 30 have some form of gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Among adults over 60, 70.1 percent have some form of gum disease.

At Forever Young Dentistry, we don’t want any of our patients in and around Sterling Heights, MI to suffer from gum disease. This is why we check for signs of periodontal disease as part of our routine examinations when you visit our dentist office.

We would prefer that you never have to deal with this problem, but if you do, then we want you to be confident that it can be treated.

Know The Signs

The sooner you can identify the signs of periodontal disease, the easier it is to treat.

Periodontal disease begins with the bacteria inside your mouth. This bacteria uses the sugars in the foods that you eat to build plaque.

This plaque can harden into tartar, which is most effectively removed with routine cleanings at our dentist office. As plaque and tartar grow, your bacteria can grow and cause infections that lead to periodontal disease.

The mild form of gum disease is known as gingivitis.

The symptoms of this form gum disease are gums that bleed easily (such as when you are brushing or flossing your teeth) and gums that are red and swollen.

This is a sign that you have not be practicing proper oral care. By improving your routine, you may be able to stop gingivitis and improve the health of your gums.

If you allow your gingivitis to go untreated, then it can turn into periodontitis, which is an advanced form of gum disease. With periodontitis, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • Your gums pull away from your teeth.
  • Your gums bleed more easily than they did before.
  • You have a bad taste in your mouth.
  • You have persistent bad breath.
  • You notice pus leaking out between your teeth and gums.
  • Your gums feel tender or sore.
  • Your teeth feel loose.

If you do not seek periodontal treatment, the disease can attack the bones that hold your teeth in your mouth. Your teeth may even fall out.

Preventing Gum Disease

You know that periodontal disease starts with the bacteria that live inside your mouth. You can remove a lot of them by brushing and flossing every day.

Start by brushing twice a day for two minutes each time. Using a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, you should scrub your teeth on all sides. This will remove much of the bacteria and plaque build-up in your mouth each day.

But it won’t get everything, which is why you also need to floss. Flossing between your teeth and gums once per day will remove bacteria, plaque, and food particles from the places that you can’t reach with a toothbrush.

And you should make and keep your appointments for routine care at Forever Young Dentistry. We will remove any plaque that you may have missed and any tartar that might have developed.

If needed, we can also provide periodontal treatment to get your gums back to being their best.

Treating Gum Disease

If we find that you need more than preventive care for your gums, our first step is scaling and root planing.

We would much rather treat your condition without surgery whenever possible.

Scaling and root planing goes deeper than a standard cleaning. During this procedure, your dentist or hygienist will clean under your gumline. The purpose is to remove any plaque or tartar that has accumulated around the root of your tooth.

After this procedure, we may apply an antibiotic gel to reduce your risk of reinfection, which will also help your gums heal faster.

For patients with chronic periodontal disease, we may ask you to return more frequently to monitor the health of your gums.

Preserving Your Smile

Your gums are as important to your oral health as your teeth. You need to practice preventive care to keep them healthy. This means brushing and flossing daily at home and scheduling regular appointments at Forever Young Dentistry for routine care.

To plan your next dental cleaning, use our online form or call our office in Sterling Heights, MI at 586-698-7135.