Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a common yet often unnoticed bacterial infection affecting the gums and surrounding teeth. Surprisingly, nearly 80% of the U.S. population experiences some form of gum disease.
The Risks of Gum Disease:
Silent Destruction: Often painless in its early stages, gum disease can quietly progress, causing significant damage to teeth and gums if left untreated.
Dental Infection: Irritated gums tend to recede, forming pockets where harmful bacteria can thrive, increasing the risk of cavities and other infections.
Systemic Health Concerns: Advanced gum disease can affect overall health, potentially contributing to serious conditions like cardiovascular disease and endocarditis.
Risk of Tooth Loss: The body’s response to infection can lead to bone deterioration, eventually leading to tooth loss.
Treating Gum Disease:
Preventive Care and Early Detection: Regular check-ups are crucial for early detection. When caught early, gum disease can often be managed non-surgically through improved oral hygiene.
Deep Cleaning: A more intensive cleaning procedure can be performed to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line, helping to control the infection.
Surgical Options: In advanced cases, surgical interventions may be necessary to restore gum health.
Medication: Antibiotics or other medications may be prescribed to control the infection and aid in healing.