According to some estimates, 80% of US adults over 30 have some form of periodontal (gum) disease, and a staggering number of these cases go unreported until significant damage is done to oral health. By knowing the signs to look for and visiting the dentist regularly, patients are able to prevent this detrimental condition or catch it in the earliest stages. In Washington, Dr. James G. Mace and his dedicated dental team offer preventive and restorative periodontal therapies to keep smiles healthy.
Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease
Overtime, plaque can build up along the gum line if it is not removed. This plaque can harden and become calculus, which can irritate soft tissues leading to swelling, discoloration, and bleeding. This mild form of gum disease is known as gingivitis. More advanced forms of gum disease cause damage to the tissues around the teeth, and leads to loss of bone. The advanced form of gum disease, periodontitis, is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults and is related to other systemic health concerns such as heart disease and diabetes. It’s essential that patients visit us right away if they exhibit any of the warning signs of gum disease including:
- Irritated, itchy, or sensitive gums
- Swelling, inflammation, or infection in the gums
- Red or white spots on the outside of gums
- Bad breath that does not respond to cleaning
- Bleeding gums
- Teeth that feel lose or as though they no longer fit together well
Periodontal Disease Treatment in Washington
Treatment for periodontal disease depends almost entirely on the extent of damage. We work with patients to create individual treatment plans to restore their gum health, but some of the most common procedures we recommend include:
- More frequent prophylaxes – visiting our team for in-depth professional teeth cleanings more often prevents plaque from building up, and is effective in treating gingivitis.
- Scaling and root planing – scaling is the systematic removal of plaque and infected tissue below the gum line, and root planing is the smoothing of roots’ surfaces to prevent future plaque buildup.
- Antibiotics – oral or topical antibiotics may be used to reduce bacteria, and protect oral and overall health.
- Referral to a Periodontist – in severe cases or those not responding to therapy, referral to a specialist in gum disease (a periodontist) is indicated. Our team works side-by-side with a trusted periodontist to provide effective care.
Contact Dr. James G. Mace Today
If you suffer from periodontal disease or fear you may be experiencing some of the early warning signs, contact Dr. Mace and his Washington, MO dental team today.