Are your gums swollen? Do your teeth bleed when you brush or floss? Are your teeth sensitive or do you have recession at your gum line? If you have any of these symptoms or if you have chronic bad breath, you may suffer from periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is a serious infection in your gums that can cause pain and even tooth loss when left untreated. Pain and bleeding while you brush and floss your teeth is your body's way of asking you to take action.
What Causes Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
Gum disease occurs when bacteria collect around and below your gum line. Healthy gums fit tightly against your teeth, creating a seal that keeps out plaque, bacteria, and food particles. Gum disease can create pocketing that allows bacteria to collect and reproduce. The bacteria cause red, swollen, and sensitive tissue – often the first sign of gum disease.
Periodontal disease creates inflammation and irritation. Additionally, researchers have linked periodontal disease to systemic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory illnesses, and even Alzheimer's. Many researchers believe that the inflammatory nature of gum disease is what puts your health at risk.
What Causes Gum Disease?
The primary cause of gum disease is neglect. Failure to brush or floss properly or missing too many professional dental cleanings can allow bacteria to collect around your teeth and gums. Additionally, tartar that builds up around the gum line creates a harbor for bacteria and causes irritation.
Certain medications, medical conditions, and even loss of dexterity can all contribute to the development of gum disease. We will update your medical history at your routine exams and address any special conditions that may affect your oral health.
How Do You Treat Periodontal Disease?
In its early stages, called gingivitis, we may be able to reverse gum disease using professional dental cleanings combined with improved home care. By addressing your gum disease in the early stages, you are protecting your overall health and potentially avoiding tooth loss.
Our dental hygienists are highly skilled and extremely gentle. Our approach is to provide each patient with the personalized treatment you need to stay healthy. Every patient is unique, and Dr. Spaska Malaric will create a treatment plan that addresses your individual concerns and current health conditions, and also supports your overall health and wellness.
We diagnose gum disease by taking measurements between your teeth and gums, and also reviewing the radiographs for presence and extent of bone loss around the teeth. When you have deep pocketing or bone loss, it means that your condition has progressed and you are in danger of losing teeth.
If your periodontal disease has progressed, we offer specialized periodontal cleanings to improve your oral health and harness the infection. Our hygienists will work gently and thoroughly to remove tartar, bacteria, and plaque. In some cases, you may benefit from the placement of Arestin, which is an antibiotic that is placed into the pocket and promotes healing.
Call to Schedule a Periodontal Exam
If you experience any of the symptoms of gum disease, don't hesitate to call our Fort Myers dental office today to schedule an evaluation with Dr. Spaska Malaric. Our team looks forward to providing you with the treatment and tools necessary to achieve optimum oral health.