How we protect the gums, stop gum disease in its tracks
Many of the conditions we see at Athens Dental Group can be prevented. Gum disease is no different. In fact, when caught and addressed early, we can even reverse the effects of this common condition and a common cause of tooth loss.
How do I know if I need gum disease therapy?
For starters, prevention is the best “treatment” for our valued patients from across northeastern Georgia. We cannot overstate this. Gum disease, or “periodontal” disease, is caused by a combination of starches and sugars from lingering food particles and harmful oral bacteria. This destructive combination contributes to a build-up of sticky plaque, eroding the hard tissues (teeth and bone) and the soft tissues or gums surrounding, protecting, and supporting each tooth. The build-up of plaque sets off a process whereby toxins are released that break down the attachments between the teeth and gums.
Anything that we can do, in partnership with you, to minimize the risk of developing this disease in the first place is preferred to playing catch-up after damage has already occurred.
What are some ways to reduce my risk?
We work with each patient one-on-one to identify their risk factors and address those specific risks head-on. All patients, even those who do not have any known risk factors, can benefit from consistent good oral care at home and professional preventative services at our office. Notably, it is essential to brush and floss each day properly and to maintain 6-month dental check-ups at our office.
During these check-ups, our talented and trained dental hygienists remove bacteria, plaque, and its hardened form (tartar) from the teeth and at the gum line. Our dentists, Drs. Drew Richardson, Brant Sandifer, or R. Lawrence George also identify problems that might otherwise be missed to promptly treat them before irreversible damage arises.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
Gum disease is progressive. At its earliest stage, gingivitis, patients may not feel or see anything strange. If changes are noticed, they may be subtle and easily ignored. This fact underscores the need to maintain regular exams at our office. Our dentists have the know-how and technologies to pinpoint early-stage gum disease when it can be treated with conservative measures, and when its effects may even be reversed. For instance, earlier phases of the disease may require little more than hygiene modifications or the introduction of medications or medicated rinses. Additionally, we can recommend a “deep clean” or nonsurgical therapy called “scaling and root planing” to remove the “bad stuff” from underneath the gums and to encourage healing. Every attempt is made to stop the condition as early as possible before it progresses to periodontitis. This advanced form of disease is characterized by the erosion or loss of tissues. It requires more aggressive treatments, such as regenerative surgical therapies, to build up lost gum tissue. So, we urge you not to wait to contact Athens Dental Group. Schedule an appointment today if you are behind on your check-ups or have noticed things like tender or puffy gums or blood on your toothbrush or floss when cleaning your teeth. Our office in Athens, GA, may be reached at (706) 353-1958.