"The Silent Killer"
Gum disease is the most common reason for tooth loss. An estimated 80% of the American population has some level of gum disease. Severity of gum disease ranges from mild bleeding gums (gingivitis) to advanced gum disease with active pus. Gross!
The worst part is that most people don’t know they have it. Usually it doesn’t hurt until it is too late. Here are some symptoms of gum disease:
- Bleeding gums during brushing and flossing
- Puffy, swollen gums
- Bad taste
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
- Pus coming from your gums
You can lose your life, not just your teeth!
Don’t believe me? Research is showing that inflammation in the body is more important that previously thought. Some suggest that inflammation is the key that triggers heart attacks and stroke. When gum infection gets into your jawbone, harmful bacteria get into your blood stream. Each time you chew, infection gets into your blood which causes inflammation in the blood vessels. The most common source of chronic (long term) inflammation is . . . Gum Disease!!!
Treatment: What can you do?
Prevention is the best option. Don’t get it to start with. Good home care with proper brushing, flossing and daily use of a water pick can prevent gum disease from being present. Once it is present, early treatment is the key.
A complete cleaning of the roots (a.k.a deep cleaning) can lead to tremendous improvements in your gum health. Antibiotic rinses may be used to lower the level of infection in your gums as well. We have learned that what you do is just as important as what we do. Daily brushing, flossing and water picking, along with 3-4 month cleaning intervals is needed to maintain healthy gums in a patient with a history of gum disease.
More advanced cases of gum disease may require referral to a gum specialist (periodontist).