Healthy gums are a vital element of a beautiful smile. Without strong, healthy gums, even the whitest, brightest smile can suffer from cosmetic and structural damage.
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a very common general dentistry condition, even among many people with great dental hygiene. Plaque becomes embedded beneath the gums, where it isn't reachable with a toothbrush or floss. This can spread damaging bacteria, causing the gums to recede, which can, in turn, lead to dental decay and even tooth loss.
While it can be difficult to avoid gum disease entirely, getting your teeth examined by Robert M. Davis DDS & Associates can help. Set up an appointment at our practice by calling us today at our Raytown Dentist Office (816) 358-0800 or at our Pleasant Hill Dentist Office (816) 540-3110 for a periodontal health evaluation.
Signs of Gum Disease
Gum disease is an umbrella term that refers to the degradation of the gums. The earliest stage is called gingivitis, which is simply inflammation of the gums. Left untreated, gingivitis can advance to a more serious condition called periodontitis.
Symptoms of gingivitis include:
- Red and swollen gums
- Sensitive gums that hurt when you touch them
- Gums that bleed when you are brushing your teeth
If your gingivitis advances to full-blown periodontitis, the gums and underlying bone tissues begin to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that can become infected. Untreated periodontitis will almost certainly lead to tooth loss. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults.
Treating Gum Disease
The most advanced stages of the disease require surgery, but Dr. Davis will ideally be able to intervene before things get quite that bad. Instead, we offer a minimally invasive treatment called scaling and root planing. In this procedure, we clean harmful plaque from beneath your gumline and treat the root of the tooth, in order to make it less vulnerable to plaque down the road. Most treatments require just one office visit, but patients with more severe gum disease may need to return for additional treatments.
Gum disease is more easily prevented than cured, though, so it’s best to take care of these issues by brushing your gums and making sure you are flossing above the gumline as well. With this approach, your chances of developing gum disease decrease dramatically.
If you have been having issues with your gums, it’s important to get help from an experienced dental professional. Contact Dr. Robert Davis at our Raytown Dentist Office (816) 358-0800 or at our Pleasant Hill Dentist Office (816) 540-3110 to set up an appointment for your checkup as soon as possible. Dr. Davis serves patients in Sedalia, Raytown, and Pleasant Hill.