Posts for tag: Periodontal Disease
Gum disease can strike when you least expect it…and it often strikes without warning.
Millions of people have gum disease and unfortunately many have no idea that they have this infection. If left untreated, gum disease can wreak havoc on your oral health, causing tooth loss, bone damage and significant gum recession. Preventing gum disease is far easier than treating it, and our Bethesda, MD, family dentist Dr. John Kelly wants you to know what you should do to reduce your risk.
Ways to Prevent Gum Disease
The good news is that gum disease is preventable. Here are some habits to adopt to maintain healthy gums,
- Brush twice a day
- Flossing daily
- Visit your dentist every six months for checkups
- Eat a healthy diet and avoid sugar and processed foods
- Quit smoking
If you want healthy teeth and gums you need to practice good oral hygiene. Some people find that they get a better clean with an electronic toothbrush; however, your technique matters more than the type of toothbrush you use. If you have questions about your brushing technique or about which toothbrush is right for you, our Bethesda, MD, dentist would be happy to provide some recommendations.
Of course, even brushing can’t remove plaque and food from between teeth and under the gumline—only flossing can do that. This is why everyone should floss once a day.
Signs of Gum Disease
Along with making sure that your teeth and gums are as clean as possible, routine dental checkups also ensure that our dental team catches problems right away before they cause serious damage. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and can be reversed with immediate treatment. Since gum disease doesn’t usually cause symptoms during the beginning stages, these routine checkups are crucial, as our dental hygienists can pinpoint warning signs that you probably won’t notice.
It’s during the more advanced stages of gum disease that people start to notice symptoms. These symptoms include,
- Bleeding gums, often when brushing and flossing
- Sore, tender and inflamed gums
- Receding gums (teeth may suddenly appear longer)
- Tooth sensitivity
- Chronic and unexplained bad breath
When was the last time you got a routine dental checkup? Looking for a dentist in Bethesda, MD, that can provide gentle dental care for you and your family? If so, turn to the team at Bethesda Row Dental for everything from routine checkups to restorative dentistry. Call us today at (301) 657-3220.
Do you have periodontal disease? The disease, also called gum disease, can cause severe pain, loosen your teeth and even destroy the bone in your jaw. Fortunately, several dental treatments can help reverse the changes caused by the disease. Our Bethesda, MD, dentist, Dr. John Kelly, discusses symptoms of periodontal disease and explains treatment options.
Bleeding shouldn't be ignored
Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth? Bleeding may be a sign of gingivitis, the initial stage of periodontal disease. Other symptoms may include gum swelling, bad breath or receding gums. Prompt treatment of gingivitis can help you avoid the unpleasant consequences of periodontitis, the more severe form of the disease. Gingivitis is treated with a deep cleaning in our Bethesda office. Unlike a regular dental cleaning, a deep cleaning removes plaque and tartar from both above and below the gum line.
Gaps around your teeth aren't normal
Periodontitis causes your gums to pull away from your teeth, forming pockets infected with bacteria. If you have periodontitis, other symptoms may include bright red gums, pain when you chew, pus around your teeth, chronic bad breath and loose teeth. Antibiotics kill the bacteria but do nothing to improve the condition of your gums. Luckily, several treatments can restore your gums and improve your oral health.
Flap surgery eliminates the pockets. After tartar is removed from your teeth, your gums are firmly stitched around your teeth. In some cases, laser surgery is used to treat pockets. If damaged gum tissue must be removed during surgery, gum grafts can be used to replace the missing tissue. You may also benefit from bone grafts if the infection destroyed part of your jawbone. Lost teeth can be replaced with dental implants, restorations that bond to your jawbone and feel very much like natural teeth. If you choose this restoration option, you'll need to wait for your gums to heal completely before proceeding.
Regular dental exams and cleanings can reduce your periodontal disease risk. If it's been a while since you've seen a dentist, or you're concerned that you have gum disease, call Bethesda, MD, dentist, Dr. Kelly, at (301) 657-3220 to schedule an appointment.
It takes only a short time neglecting your oral hygiene before you begin to notice some unpleasant things with your gums: swelling, redness or even bleeding. These are all signs of gingivitis, a periodontal (gum) disease that arises from bacterial plaque, a thin biofilm that builds up on tooth surfaces when a person doesn't brush or floss.
Fortunately, early stages of gingivitis can be treated effectively with comprehensive plaque removal during one or more office visits. If, however, it's not dealt with early, it can develop into something much more serious: acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG). This form does more than leave you with unattractive teeth and gums and terrible breath — it could eventually cause you to lose your teeth.
ANUG is also known as trench mouth, a common ailment among front line World War I soldiers without access to proper dental care and hygiene. It's most prevalent today among individuals who are under a great deal of stress, not sleeping or eating well and haven't cleaned or properly cared for their teeth for an extended period of time. Tobacco smokers also seem more susceptible than non-smokers to the disease, perhaps because smoke dries the mouth and changes the bacterial environment.
Unlike common gingivitis, ANUG can be quite painful. In effect, the gum tissues begin to die (necrotize), especially the triangular peaks between teeth known as papillae. Besides the other symptoms of gingivitis, the tissues may become yellowish.
ANUG can be treated effectively. The first step is to relieve the symptoms of pain and inflammation through medication. The focus then shifts to treating the underlying cause, bacterial plaque. Besides plaque removal common in any treatment for gum disease, we may also need to initiate antibiotic therapy. Metronidazole is a common antibiotic that's been demonstrated effective against the specific bacterial strain associated with ANUG. We might also combine this with an antibacterial mouth rinse containing chlorhexidine.
The final step belongs to you: to keep ANUG or any other gum disease from reoccurring, it's important for you to adopt a daily regimen of brushing and flossing, along with regular dental visits for thorough teeth cleaning and checkups. Taking this proactive approach will help ensure you won't suffer from this painful and unattractive form of gingivitis again.
If you would like more information on acute gingivitis, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Painful Gums in Teens & Adults.”
Worried that your smile could be warning you that you have gum disease?
It isn’t always easy to pinpoint dental problems. While it should be, sometimes the only way you know there is an issue is when you visit your Bethesda, MD family dentist, Dr. John Kelly, for your routine dental cleanings. But if you are concerned that you might have gum disease, or if you just want to know the telltale signs, here is some more information.
Warning Signs of Gum Disease
Red, swollen gums are usually the most common sign that something is wrong. Gum disease usually begins as gingivitis, which is the very early stage of gum disease that can be reversed if caught quickly enough. During this time, you may also notice that your gums are more likely to bleed, particularly when brushing and flossing. Bleeding gums should be taken seriously, since this isn’t normal.
Gum disease can also cause chronic bad breath. If you brush twice a day and floss daily but notice that your bad breath lingers, it could be a warning sign of periodontal disease. It isn’t until the later stages of gum disease that you may start to notice other issues like loose teeth or even tooth loss. But, the moment you notice tender, red or swollen gums you should be visiting our Bethesda dentist to get the proper care your gums needs to stay healthy.
How is gum disease detected?
When you come in for an exam, we can usually diagnose gum disease by inspecting the gum tissue and to check how well the gums are attached to the teeth. We may also take X-rays to determine whether your gum disease has also affected your bone health.
From there, we can talk to you about treatment options that will help to get rid of your gum disease.
If you are experiencing any problems or if you just need to schedule your next cleaning, it’s high time you called Bethesda Row Dental in Bethesda, MD today. We are here to care for all your family’s dental needs.