According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of American adults over the age of 30 suffer from mild (i.e., gingivitis) to severe gum disease (i.e. periodontitis). Like many health conditions, gum disease is often diagnosed and treated after it has progressed, when the symptoms and risks to your oral health can be more severe. But there are early warning signs that can raise a red flag and let you know it is time to see a periodontist for evaluation and treatment. Dr. Neal Pylant, a periodontist in Athens, GA, offers both surgical and non-surgical periodontal treatment for patients suffering from various stages of this condition.
Gum Disease Diagnosis and Treatment in Athens, GA
Periodontal disease causes inflammation of the gums and supporting bone tissue. It is a progressive condition, usually starting out in the mild form called gingivitis. If left untreated, it will continue to worsen and become periodontitis. In advanced cases, gum disease can lead to tooth loss. According to the National Institutes of Health, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for adults. And while the risk of developing gum disease does go up with age, with men and women over the age of 65 at a much higher risk than their younger peers, gum disease can affect anyone, whether age 30 or 80.
What to Look For - Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
The most common early sign of gum disease is bleeding gums. Other symptoms to look out for include:
- Bad breath
- Red, swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Signs of infection like pus around the gums or between the teeth
- Loose teeth
Find a Periodontist in Athens, GA
Gum disease can strike at any age, even children, but a good oral hygiene routine, regular dental exams and professional cleanings can help to lower your risk. We treat adults and children in our practice. If you would like more information, please contact our office by calling 706-543-0026 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Pylant today.
Are you unsure if dental implants are the ideal tooth restoration option for you? Our Athens, GA, periodontist, Dr. Neal Pylant, explains how you can benefit from implants.
Implants offer a long-lasting solution
Dental implants are made of titanium, a lightweight metal that bonds to bone. The small posts take the place of your roots and are inserted into your jaw during a minor surgical procedure in our Athens office. It usually takes about three to six months for your implants to osseointegrate, or bond, to your jawbone. Once osseointegration occurs, you'll return to your general dentist to be fitted for a crown that will be added to the top of the implant. In most cases, dental implants will last your entire life. There's no limit to the number of missing teeth dental implants can replace.
Dental implants are the most comfortable option
If you know anyone who has dentures, you've probably heard that they can be uncomfortable if they don't fit properly. Slipping dentures can irritate your gums, making it uncomfortable to chew. Although bridges are much less likely to slip, they can also be uncomfortable if they don't fit well.
Because your new crown is firmly attached to your dental implant, it won't move or slip. In fact, you may find it difficult to tell which tooth is artificial. Comfort is a key reason that many people choose dental implants.
You won't have to alter your diet when you choose dental implants
Dentures reduce your biting power significantly, which makes it impossible to eat hard or tough foods. If you don't want to change your diet, either implants with crowns or implant-supported dentures offer a better option. As already mentioned, implants with crowns do not move or slip. With implant-supported appliances, dentures are attached to implants or a metal framework attached to your jawbone. Both implant options are very stable and give you the power you need to eat corn on the cob or bite into an apple.
Dental implants protect your jawbone
After tooth loss, your jawbone begins to shrink. As the bone recedes, teeth may loosen and fall out. Jawbone recession also causes the muscles in the lower part of your face to sag, making you look older. Dental implants press on your jawbone just as your roots did and help keep it strong and healthy.
Would you like to find out if dental implants are right for you? Call our Athens, GA, periodontist, Dr. Pylant, at (706) 543-0026 to schedule an appointment.
Do your teeth look longer than usual? Receding gums can change the appearance of your smile and also threaten your oral health. Our Athens, GA, periodontist, Dr. Neal Pylant, discusses why gum recession occurs and explains how it's treated.
Why have my gums receded?
Receding gums can occur if you brush your teeth too hard or don't use a soft bristle brush. Changing your brushing habits may be all you need to do to reverse the problem in this case. Some people notice gum recession when they grind their teeth. Often, wearing a nightguard when you sleep can stop the recession and also reduce wear and tear on your teeth.
Other causes of gum recession include smoking, hormonal changes in women, diabetes and a family history of gum disease. Poor oral hygiene may also cause your gums to recede. If you don't brush or floss regularly, plaque on your teeth becomes tartar, a hard deposit that can lead to gum disease. Gum disease, a common cause of receding gums, may cause tissue, tooth and bone loss if it isn't treated.
How are receding gums treated?
If there is an underlying cause for your gum recession, such as diabetes, poor oral hygiene or gum disease, addressing the cause can help stop the problem, although you may still need treatment to restore your gum tissue. Bacterial infections caused by gum disease can damage your gums and force them away from your teeth. Deep cleanings and pocket reduction surgery, in addition to antibiotics, may be needed if you have gum disease.
If you have receding gums, you've probably noticed that your teeth hurt when you eat or drink hot or cold foods. The problem occurs when your roots are exposed. Restoring your gum tissue will improve your appearance and help keep your smile healthy. Gum grafts are often used to treat receding gums. The tissue for the grafts is obtained from your mouth (typically the roof of your mouth) or from a donor and is sewn to your gum line during a procedure in our Athens office.
Don't let gum recession ruin your smile! Call our Athens, GA, periodontist, Dr. Pylant, at (706) 543-0026 to schedule an appointment.
Let’s Talk Teeth: An Inside Look at the Different Types and Parts of the Human Tooth
- Incisors: These are the eight teeth in the front and center of your mouth (four on top and four on bottom). Incisors are used to take bites of food, and are typically the first teeth to erupt in the mouth.
- Canines: These are your four sharpest teeth, which are used to rip and tear food.
- Premolars: These eight, flat teeth are located on each side of your mouth (two on the upper and two on the lower jaw). Premolars are big and have ridges, which make them perfect for crushing and grinding food.
- Molars: Your 12 molars are even stronger than premolars. Molars are the back teeth that have broad surfaces designed for crushing and grinding food, and they work along with the tongue to help you swallow food after it’s been mashed.
- Enamel: Enamel is the hard, visible, outermost substance that covers the tooth and protects it from decay.
- Dentin: Dentin is the yellowish, softer layer of the tooth under the enamel that envelops the pulp. Dentin can be attacked by decay if it progresses through the enamel.
- Pulp: The pulp is the soft tissue located in the center of all teeth, containing the nerve tissue and blood vessels. The pulp is how the tooth receives nourishment and transmits signals to the brain.
Welcome to the Blog of F. Neal Pylant, D.M.D., P.C.
Whether you are an existing patient or searching for a dentist in the Athens, GA area, we’re excited you are here. With the dental industry advancing, we recognize the importance of keeping our patients and visitors up to date with all of the new and exciting things taking place in our practice.
As we move forward with our blog, we hope to promote dental awareness as a vital part of your healthy lifestyle. Here you will find a variety of articles and topics including dental news, advancements in dental technology and treatments, practical oral health advice and updates from our practice.
We hope you find our blog to be helpful, engaging and informational to ensure your best dental health.
As always, feel free to contact our Athens, GA office with any dental questions or concerns.
-- F. Neal Pylant, D.M.D., P.C.
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