Posts for: July, 2018
Most people are aware that gum disease can lead to a number of oral health issues, from sensitive and bleeding gums to partial or full tooth loss. However, despite the growing awareness around the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene practices and getting regular dental care, there are a still a number of misconceptions about gum (also known as periodontal) disease. For example, many people assume that gum disease and tooth loss are predominantly a problem for the elderly. While the risk generally tends to increase as we age and pass age 60, the reality is that no one is immune to gum disease and its effects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), close to half of all American adults over age 30 are missing at least one tooth, and approximately 40 million are missing all of their natural teeth. But gum disease and tooth loss later in life are not inevitable. Dr. Neal Pylant, a periodontist in Athens, GA, advises patients to focus on preventive treatment by practicing good oral hygiene at home on a daily basis, and scheduling regular dental exams and professional cleanings at least every six months as recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA), or more frequently depending on the severity of the gum disease a patient has.
Gum Disease Treatment in Athens, GA
An early sign of gum disease is gingivitis, which usually causes gum sensitivity and bleeding while brushing and flossing. Gingivitis is caused by gum inflammation due to bacteria and plaque buildup, and while gingivitis does not mean that you will develop full-blown periodontal disease, it should be taken seriously and treated as an early warning sign.
If left untreated, gingivitis could progress to periodontitis, which leads to further gum inflammation and causes pockets to develop that allow food and bacteria to pool between the teeth and the gums. With advanced periodontitis, the bone tissue that supports the teeth under the gums begins to erode, which could lead to infection, loose teeth, and eventual tooth loss.
The good news is that you can seek treatment from a periodontist at any stage of the process, even if you have not been to a dentist in years. Gum disease is progressive, and getting treatment as early as possible is the best way to avoid complications like tooth loss, but it is never too late to invest in your oral health.
Find a Periodontist in Athens, GA
To learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and your family from the effects of gum disease or for information about treatment options, contact our office by calling 706-543-0026 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Pylant today.