In this episode of “Tip Tuesday”, our very own, Dr. Sergio Guzman, sheds light on gum disease and some of the symptoms you may feel if you have – or are developing – it.

Rest assured that your McAllen family dentists at Heroes Dental are more than capable of helping patients prevent and treat any oral health issues caused by gum disease. If you or your little hero is suffering from what you believe to be gum disease, then consider the following information.

What is Gum Disease?

In short, gum disease — also known as periodontal disease — is an inflammation of the gum line that, when left untreated, can eventually begin to affect the bone and surrounding tissues. When gum disease has reached this point, it is known as periodontitis.

“Tooth loss is not a natural part of growing old,” says Dr. Guzman. “It’s caused by periodontal disease.”

Periodontal disease is not just one, but several different types of gum diseases that all have a common cause. They include:

  1. Gingivitis – Known as the most common form of periodontal disease, gingivitis develops when plaque accumulates along the gingiva (i.e. gums), causing irritation and inflammation. Symptoms include halitosis (bad breath) and bleeding when brushing or flossing.
  2. Periodontitis – This is the second most common periodontal disease and is caused by bacterial plaque accumulating around the gum line. If left untreated, damage to the jaw bone can occur, causing pain, bone loss, and tooth loss. Symptoms are much the same as gingivitis, as periodontitis usually occurs if gingivitis is left untreated.
  3. Advanced Periodontitis – This is the worst case of periodontal disease; bone and tooth loss can be substantial.

While gum disease can cause a lot of damage to your overall oral health, all hope is not lost.

Dr. Guzman says, “Spotting [the] signs of gum diseases early can help prevent tooth loss, unnecessary pain, and costly treatment.”

Treating Gum Disease

If you suspect that you or your child is suffering from gum disease, there are a number of options available to you:

  • The first method of treating gum disease is prevention. Brushing and flossing – at least twice a day – helps remove plaque and tartar buildup, reducing the risk of developing gingivitis. If you or your child has gingivitis, however, don’t panic. Gingivitis is generally reversible, so long that proper dental care is taken at home.
  • Professional teeth cleanings at least twice a year are another option to help prevent gum disease. Our experienced team at Heroes Dental will help to remove plaque and tartar buildup in all those hard to reach places.
  • If you are suffering from an advanced form of gum disease, there is still hope to save your teeth and improve your smile including:
    • Scaling and root planning
    • Ultrasonic scaling
    • Laser treatments
    • Gingival surgery (if a gum line pocket is more than 5 millimeters deep)
    • Bone grafting for jaw bone loss due to advanced periodontitis
  • Are you ready to do your part in preventing gum disease? Dr. Guzman and his team of family dentists at Heroes Dental are ready to help improve your oral health.

    Contact us at any of our locations in the Rio Grande Valley or Laredo to schedule your next dental checkup. Preventing gum disease is only a call away.

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