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How to Protect Your Smile from Periodontal Disease

Grand Rapids Dentist Gum Disease

Grand Rapids Dentist Gum Disease

Did you know nearly half of Americans age 30 and older have periodontal disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)? More commonly known as gum disease, periodontal disease is caused by untreated plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth and gums.

The bacteria in dental plaque irritates your gums and causes them to bleed more easily, resulting in gum disease. Fortunately, our dentists can help protect your smile from periodontal disease.

Keep in mind that while gum disease can be cured in its early stages with good oral hygiene habits and professional teeth cleanings, the same can’t be said of periodontitis (the advanced form of gum disease). Periodontal disease deteriorates the bone structure supporting your teeth and causes your gums to recede, putting you at a higher risk for tooth loss.

Let’s take a look at how you can protect your smile from periodontal disease.

1. Know the Signs of Gum Disease

The best way to treat gum disease is to catch it in its early stages. Unfortunately, many people are unaware they have gum disease until it has progressed past the point of treatment. Advanced gum disease can only be managed, not cured.

That’s why it’s so important to know the symptoms of early gum disease, such as:

  • Tender or swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Perpetual bad breath

Dental checkups are so important because they give our dentists the chance to diagnose gum disease before it develops into periodontitis. Keep in mind that some people may be asymptomatic, meaning that they show no symptoms of gum disease until it’s too late.

2. Adopt a Thorough Oral Hygiene Routine

One of the main causes of gum disease is not following a healthy oral hygiene routine. If you have recently been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you’ll need to make sure to brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and use a fluoride mouth rinse.

The best way to slow down the progression of periodontal disease is to remove dental plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth and gums. In order to remove tartar, you will need to get your teeth cleaned professionally every six months. Depending on the severity of your case, our dentists may find it necessary to schedule dental appointments more frequently to account for gum disease treatment.

3. Undergo Scaling & Root Planing

If you already have periodontal disease, you’ll notice your gums starting to pull away from your teeth. Receding gums deepen the pockets around your teeth and get filled with dental plaque.

Thankfully, our dentists can remove dental plaque above and below the gum line through a procedure called scaling & root planing. During this procedure, our dentists will also smooth out tooth roots so your gums have a better chance of reattaching to your teeth.

If you have recently been diagnosed with periodontal disease, we recommend you set up an appointment for scaling & root planing as soon as possible.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Our Grand Rapids, MI, gum disease dentists are dedicated to helping patients regain good oral health after being diagnosed with gum disease. Call Contemporary Family Dental today at (616) 209-3969, or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

This blog post has been updated.