Now that it’s February, everyone is thinking about hearts, chocolates, and… gum disease? That’s right, February is National Gum Disease Awareness Month! Now is the perfect time to take a break from buying sweets and flowers to check on the health of your family’s gums. Gum disease is an incredibly common condition that effects nearly half of American adults and almost as many children. If left untreated, it can cause infections, toothaches, and even tooth loss! Here’s everything your dentist in Irving wants you to know about how to spot and stop gum disease.
How Gum Disease Works
If plaque and tartar are allowed to build up in your mouth, they can cause more than just cavities. The bacteria they contain will also attack and irritate the gum tissue. Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, develops when the gums become infected with harmful bacteria. Although the symptoms may be easy to accidentally overlook, it’s important to catch and treat gum disease in its earliest form to prevent the infection from growing.
If left untreated, gingivitis can advance into periodontitis. This later stage of gum disease indicates that the bacterial infection has become destructive enough to cause permanent damage to the gum tissue and jawbone. Eventually, the bacteria can attack the connective tissues that hold the teeth in place, causing them to fall out.
Warning Signs of Gum Disease
Thankfully, permanent damage can be avoided with early detection. Common symptoms of gum disease to be on the lookout for include:
- Red, swollen gums that are tender or bleed easily, especially when brushing, eating, or flossing.
- Persistent bad breath that doesn’t go away after using mouthwash or eating a mint.
- Gum recession, which can make teeth look longer or feel sensitive to hot, cold, or sweet things.
Gum Disease Treatment for the Whole Family
The sooner gum disease is identified, the easier it is to treat. In fact, the earliest stages of gum disease can easily be treated and reversed at home by brushing for two minutes twice a day as well as flossing and using mouthwash regularly. However, if you or your loved one is having trouble maintaining gum health, it may be time for gum disease treatment in Irving. Scaling and root planning is an effective treatment that’s comfortable and effective for the whole family. The bacteria underneath the gumline is removed with specialized tools, the tooth roots are smoothed out to encourage gum reattachment, and an antibiotic is applied to protect against reinfection.
So if you or your loved one has red, swollen, or bleeding gums in Irving, it’s time to see your dentist. With great oral hygiene at home and regular cleanings every six months, your family can protect their happy, healthy smiles from gum disease.
About the Practice
If you’re worried about bleeding gums in Irving, don’t hesitate to come see us at Rio Dental & Orthodontics in Farmer’s Branch, Fort Worth, or Irving, TX. While we would prefer to stop gum disease before it even starts with a routine dental checkup and cleaning twice a year, we also provide effective and efficient gum disease therapy. With a professional, friendly environment and fun activities for all ages, we strive to make dental appointments as comfortable as possible for the whole family. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at our website or our Irving office at (972) 793-0735.