Gum disease is one of the most common oral health problems for American adults. In fact, roughly half of all adults over 30 have some form of gum disease, which ranges from mild (gingivitis) to severe (periodontitis). While gum disease is common, it’s not inevitable. Ann Mudd, DMD, offers preventive and general dentistry services at Ann B. Mudd, DMD Family Dentistry with a Gentle Touch. Call the Louisville, Kentucky office today or schedule an appointment online for your checkup and dental cleaning.
When bacteria builds up between your teeth and gums, it hardens into plaque and tartar, causing inflammation of the gums.
The mild form of gum disease is gingivitis, which makes the gums feel tender and swollen and bleed when you brush your teeth. When caught and treated early, gingivitis can generally be reversed and doesn’t cause permanent damage.
The serious form of gum disease is known as periodontitis, which can result in bone loss, connective tissue damage, and ultimately, tooth loss — if left untreated.
The best defense against gum disease is prevention, starting with brushing, flossing, and professional dental care with Dr. Mudd. The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests most adults schedule a professional dental cleaning every six months.
The most common causes of gum disease are:
Dr. Mudd will help you design the right oral hygiene and preventive plan to protect your teeth and gums at every stage.
Gum disease develops slowly over time, so many people don’t necessarily notice any symptoms right away. The first symptoms usually show up as red, puffy gums that bleed when you brush your teeth or chew your food. Other common symptoms of gum disease include:
Once gum disease develops into full-blown periodontitis, the damage becomes irreversible, but there are still options available to manage your symptoms and to help lower your risk of tooth loss, so don’t hesitate to make an appointment as soon as possible.
Gum disease is caused by plaque and tartar buildup, so if you have gingivitis, Dr. Mudd may start by performing a root planing and scaling procedure, which is a deep-cleaning treatment.
Gum disease causes pockets to form between your teeth and gums where bacteria can pool and cause inflammation, so once it develops brushing and flossing alone are not enough to remove the buildup.
If you have gingivitis, deep cleaning and preventive care can generally prevent the onset of periodontitis.
The more advanced gum disease gets, the more damage it causes, so the treatment will typically be more involved depending on the damage.
If you’ve lost bone tissue or your gums have receded, Dr. Mudd may graft bone or gum tissue to help save your teeth.
The goal is always to try and prevent tooth loss, but there are several tooth replacement options available including dental implants, crowns and bridgework, or dentures.
Schedule an appointment today either online or by calling the Louisville, Kentucky, office to discuss your gum disease risk and treatment options with Dr. Mudd.