Hello and welcome to another September edition of the Legacy Smiles blog!
We have been providing top-notch dental solutions to the good folks of Billings, MT (and the surrounding communities) for a quarter of a century. We make it our mission to stay up to date with the latest trends in technology so that we can provide a more comfortable experience for YOU!
Dr. Stuart and the rest of our team are here to help keep your mouth clean and your smile looking its best through every season of life.
To that end, today, we want to look at gum disease and what you can do to prevent and/or treat this increasingly common oral health problem. Keep reading and then be sure to get in touch to schedule your next appointment.
Recognizing Gum Disease
Most American families will have to deal with some form of gum disease at some point in life. It can strike at any age, which is why it is so important to start a good home hygiene routine when children are young.
How will you know when it hits you? The symptoms of gum disease vary depending on the stage you are involved with. This condition can result in swelling and bleeding at first and get progressively worse.
Gum disease emerges as an infection known as gingivitis. With an aggressive approach and strict at-home care on your part, we’re often able to reverse the effects of gingivitis. That’s the encouraging news.
The unfortunate news is that gum disease often goes unnoticed until it is too late for conservative treatment.
The later more advanced form of gum disease is called periodontitis. At this stage, patients often have intense pains and will have developed infected pockets around the gumline.
Periodontitis will get your attention, as it will almost certainly spread and lead to bone loss and even total tooth loss. In turns out that gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss in the adult patients we see.
One of the scariest things about gum disease is that seldom stops at wrecking your smile. It has also been tied to respiratory disease, heart disease, and even some types of cancer.
Treating Gum Disease
The damage is not reversible in every case, but with proper home care and regular visits, we can keep your mouth healthy and prevent future tooth loss.
A routine dental cleaning can take care of small infection, but moderate infections will need to be treated by a process called scaling and root planing.
This process is a deep cleaning done with a laser that is used to remove buildup from underneath your gums.
Such a treatment might also be used in combination with prescription-strength mouthrinses or antibiotics to knock out the infection.
If the problem is more severe, it may require surgery. However, you don’t have to worry because we can do all of that right here in our comfortable office.
Once healing of your gums is complete, we can also discuss any restorative treatments that might be needed for your gums and teeth.
A Healthier Smile Awaits!
If you are ready to get your oral health back on track, contact Dr. Stuart to make your dental appointment in Billings, MT today!