April 8, 2016
In a perfect world, no one would develop gum disease. Everyone would do what they need to do to maintain their oral health.
As much as we love living in the United States, it isn’t perfect. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proved that with a recent study of gum disease.
The study found that 47.2 percent of adults over 30 in the United States have periodontal disease. That’s nearly half of our country’s adult population.
That’s hundreds of millions of people.
If you do development gum disease, how you treat it is important. This is why the team at Oregon Smile Care Center offers non-surgical periodontal treatment for our patients.
If you live in or near Salem, OR, our dentist would be happy to check for signs of gum disease and to show you how you can prevent it.
Are You At Risk For Gum Disease?
The CDC study went beyond just noting that roughly half of American adults have gum disease.
They noticed that your risk of developing gum disease increases as you get older. Among adults 65 and older, 70.1 percent have gum disease. That’s 7 in 10 people over 65.
The CDC also found periodontal disease is more common among women (56.4 percent) than men (38.4 percent).
People living below the poverty line have a 65.4 percent chance of having gum disease, and 66.9 percent of people with less than a high school education have this condition.
Smokers also have a higher risk of having gum disease (64.2 percent) than non-smokers.
In addition to tobacco use, some other factors that increase your risk of having or developing gum disease include:
None of these guarantee that you will develop gum disease, but they may be reminders to pay closer attention to your oral health.
How We Treat Periodontal Disease
In our office, we provide non-surgical gum disease treatments.
This starts with scaling and root planing. This goes well beyond the typical cleaning you would receive during a cleaning and exam as part of our general dentistry.
With scaling and root planing, a hygienist will be going deep under your gumline to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar that has built up around the roots of your teeth.
Most patients prefer to receive anesthetic during this periodontal treatment to eliminate the risk of pain. Be aware that this may require multiple appointments, but the end result is that your gums — and your mouth — will be much healthier.
After the bacteria, plaque, and tartar have been removed, your hygienist may choose to use our dental laser.
If needed, the laser can remove any remaining bacteria. The laser does not require cutting into your gum tissue, so you can heal faster than you would with a surgical procedure.
We will ask you to come back about eight weeks after your scaling and root planing to recheck your gum health and make sure things are going well.
How To Know If You Have Gum Disease
The symptoms of gum disease can be mild or severe, depending on how advanced your gum disease is.
In the early stages, gum disease can be reversed with proper oral care. This includes brushing your teeth twice each day and flossing every day. If you are not doing these things (or you aren’t doing them correctly), this is when the early signs of gum disease can develop.
We present periodontal disease symptoms below (starting with the milder ones), so you will know what to watch for:
➤ Red or swollen gums
➤ Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
➤ Tender, painful gums
➤ Persistent bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
➤ Gums that pull away from your teeth
➤ Increased tooth sensitivity
➤ Changes in your bite or loose teeth
➤ Pus leaking from your gums
Most people don’t realize that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. Healthy gums help to hold your teeth in place.
Gum disease also can attack the bones that hold your teeth in place. As they deteriorate, your teeth can feel loose and fall out.
One of the reasons we encourage our patients to visit our dentist office in Salem, OR, at least twice every year is so we can watch for signs of gum disease. The earlier we identify the problem, the less invasive and more effective your treatment can be.