Caring for your oral health is more than just keeping your teeth clean and white. Your gums are an important part of your dental care, both for a healthy smile and for your overall health. Gum disease affects approximately half of adults over the age of thirty and, if not treated, can lead to tooth loss and put you at risk for other health issues. At Columbia Dental Center, we take gum health seriously and help our patients prevent and treat gum disease with general dentistry.
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal or gum disease. It begins with an accumulation of bacteria around teeth and gums. Crevices between teeth and around the gums can be havens for food particles and bacteria. If not cleaned effectively through brushing and flossing, bacteria can create a sticky substance called plaque. Plaque can harden into tartar which irritates the gums. Once this process begins, gingivitis can take hold.
Symptoms and Causes of Gum Disease
The first symptoms of gum disease are inflamed gums. They may become swollen and red, bleeding easily when you brush or eat crunchy foods. If left unchecked, the gums will begin to pull away from the tooth's surface as tartar buildup increases. Tartar cannot be removed from normal brushing or flossing and must be professionally eliminated through a scaling or cleaning of the tooth's surface.
Regular dental cleanings are one of the best ways to prevent gum disease and can treat it in the early stages. Our team uses special tools to scale away tartar and smooth the surface of the tooth root. This allows the gum to heal and reattach to the tooth. If gum disease has progressed, there may be a need for deep cleanings, as well as special mouthwashes and medications to help dispel bacteria and aid in the healing of the gums.
Keep your teeth and gums healthy. Contact us today for an appointment and come see our experienced and friendly dental team at Columbia Dental Center. We can help treat and prevent gum disease to protect your beautiful smile and your health.