February is National Gum Disease Awareness Month!

Young girl covering her mouth with her handNow 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.

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You can play a part in preparing your child for his or her first visit to our office. Informing your child of the visit as an exciting experience for both of you can ease any hesitations. As a parent try to act relaxed, since your child may sense any anxiety on your part.

Explain to your child that the doctor will “count, brush, and maybe take pictures of their teeth”. We also ask that you assume the role of a silent observer. Cooperation and trust must be established directly between the doctor, staff, and your child and not through you. Your child may become confused if receiving instructions from multiple sources.

We recommend bringing your baby in for their first dental appointment by their first birthday, or within 6 months of their first tooth appearing (whichever comes first). During this appointment, we will examine your baby’s mouth to track their dental development and discuss age-appropriate dental care.

It’s easy to make appointments to visit our office online or over the phone. Rio Dental sees patients both for checkups and dental emergencies. Using our online scheduler, you can select the location and time slot that works best for you for either type of appointment. If you have any questions regarding our practice, or simply prefer to make your appointment with a live member of staff, please don’t hesitate to call!

Rio Dental Group accepts most PPO insurances. We recommend that new patients and returning patients with new insurance policies reach out to us before their appointment to confirm coverage. Our Fort Worth location also sees patients who are covered by Medicaid and CHIP programs.

We don’t like surprises, either! Our staff is prepared to discuss the cost of dental services before you undergo treatment so that you know what to expect in terms of fees. The cost of your services will be due at the end of your appointment. Our office accepts payment by cash, credit card, or check.

Rio Dental Group allows patients to pay with their CareCredit card. CareCredit is a healthcare credit card designed to cover out-of-pocket costs at over 225,000 providers nationwide. After leaving the office, card holders will be able to make convenient monthly payments towards their balance. To learn more, visit the CareCredit website.

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    Farmers Branch

    2740 Valwood Pkwy #144
    Farmers Branch, TX 75234

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    1111 W Airport Fwy #201
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    (972) 793-0735

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