As plaque and tartar begin building up on the teeth and around the gums, it can start to irritate the gums and cause an ailment called gingivitis. The gums can start to get irritated, swollen, puffy, and start to recede. It is estimated that more than half of American adults suffer from gingivitis. With proper oral hygiene and anti-bacterial mouthwash, the effects can be reversed.
However, if left to continue to get worse, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease. Symptoms will intensify, and in addition, sufferers can get bad breath, swelling, bleeding, receding gums and eventually teeth loss. Since the gums absorb many nutrients into the body, the same can be said about harmful bacteria, meaning that gum disease can have a profound impact on your overall health. If left untreated, there is a much higher risk to develop:
Your dentist can help you combat gum disease and halt its progress. A treatment called scaling and root planing is used to clear out any pockets of bacteria that are building up around the gum area. The root of the tooth in the affected area also gets thoroughly cleaned, and if there are areas where bacteria can easily be caught, they will be smoothed out.
Following the treatment, your dentist may prescribe specific toothpaste and mouthwashes to help fight the gum disease. Proper check-ups will be crucial going forward so we can make sure the periodontitis is not continuing.
For more severe cases, surgery may also be necessary.
Dr. Keith Shankle, DDS of Dental Care of Muskogee is dedicated to providing complete dental care to his patients whether it's a routine...