Have you noticed blood in the sink after brushing your teeth? Do your gums appear red and swollen? Do you have bad breath that you can’t seem to eliminate? Did you know that you might be suffering from periodontal (gum) disease? Dr. Allan J. Milewski, your Medina dentist, discusses why taking care of your gums is so important.
The Oral Systemic Link
Studies have emerged over the years about how your periodontal health is connected to your overall health. We now understand that the bacteria that causes gum disease can also contribute to other health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and vice versa. This is known as the oral systemic connection, and it tells us that it’s never been more important to take good care of your oral health.
What is Periodontal Disease?
When excessive plaque buildup causes inflammation to your gum tissue, it also becomes infected. This is the first stage of periodontal disease known as gingivitis, and this is when you may notice that your gums are red and swollen, or they bleed when you brush your teeth.
As the infection progresses, you may notice that your teeth become mobile or loose, which is a sign of periodontitis, or the advanced stage of gum disease. If it’s left untreated, periodontitis will eventually lead to tooth loss. In fact, gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in American adults.
How is Gum Disease Treated?
Your first line of defense against periodontal disease is your six-month preventive appointment with your dentist. We’ll screen for it during every checkup, and if we detect gingivitis it can typically be treated with a thorough professional cleaning and improvements to your home care routine, preventing any further damage from occurring.
If you find yourself facing periodontitis, your team at Medina Family Dentistry is well equipped to provide a deep cleaning called scaling and root planing that reaches below the gum line to remove plaque and tartar buildup. We may also recommend antibiotic therapy to help fight the infection. Since there is no cure for gum disease, we’ll see you for additional cleanings throughout the year to help you keep your condition under control.
Contact Medina Family Dentistry
If it’s time for your next preventive appointment, or you’ve noticed some of the symptoms of gingivitis, we encourage you to call our office today to schedule your next appointment.