Gum disease (periodontitis) can seem like a fairly benign issue – for most people, it starts out as just some gum puffiness or “pink in the sink” when brushing. In reality, however, gum disease is insidious and progressive, slowly destroying the foundation of your natural teeth and leading to bone loss, loose teeth, gum recession, and tooth loss. In fact, adults over the age of 35 lose more teeth to gum disease than they do to cavities and decay! At Cannon Dental, we take a proactive approach when it comes to gum disease treatment, offering solutions for Salt Lake City, UT area patients with all stages of periodontitis.
How gum disease develops
Hands down, the greatest contributor to the development of gum disease is insufficient oral hygiene. Brushing twice per day, flossing daily, and regular dental hygiene visits go a long way towards preventing gum disease from ever developing in the first place. That’s why we emphasize preventive care at our dental practice! In addition, several other factors can put you at higher risk for developing gum disease, including:
- Having certain medical conditions, such as diabetes
- Being older
- Going through hormonal changes
- Taking certain medications
- Clenching and grinding your teeth (bruxism)
- Inadequate nutrition
- Chronic stress
- Tobacco use
At routine dental visits, we check for any signs that gum disease is starting to develop. In its early stages, gum disease is called gingivitis and has symptoms such as red, swollen gums that bleed when brushing or flossing. As the plaque and bacteria continue to grow on your teeth and beneath the gum line, the toxins from the bacteria begin to eat away at the tissues and form pockets that cause the tooth roots to separate from the gums, creating additional space for the disease-causing bacteria to proliferate. Eventually, the gum tissue and bone start to deteriorate and tooth loss can occur.
Treatments for gum disease at every stage
At Cannon Dental, we offer therapies to help restore health to your gums at every stage. Early gingivitis treatment may consist of extra home hygiene and routine cleanings at our practice, whereas later stages of gum disease may require more intensive therapies such as scaling and root planing (a deep cleaning procedure to reduce periodontal pockets) and receding gums treatment. If you suffer from tooth loss as a result of gum disease, we also offer a variety of tooth replacement options to help restore your smile.
Dr. Cannon and our team know that gum disease is no small matter, and we take your oral health seriously while providing compassionate, gentle care. If you suspect you have gum disease, don’t hesitate to call our Salt Lake City, UT office at (801) 406-9985 to schedule an evaluation today!
The 3 stages of gum disease are gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Gingivitis is caused by toxins irritating the gum line as a result of plaque buildup. Signs and symptoms of gingivitis includes swelling, sensitivity, and bleeding of the gums during brushing and flossing. Gingivitis can be easily reversed through professional care and good home oral hygiene. Periodontitis is categorized by irreversible bone loss that results from untreated gingivitis. The gums may begin to form a pocket below the gum line which traps food and plaque. Dental treatment and home care can help prevent from further damage, but at this stage, the results are not reversible. Advanced periodontitis is when the fibers and bones supporting the teeth destroyed. This may cause teeth to shift or loosen. Teeth may have to be removed depending on how advanced the disease has become and if treatments are not effective. You can begin by preventing gum disease with good oral health. Pick up a brochure or ask your dentist today.