Did you know that the #1 oral health problem in the world isn’t cavities, but rather periodontal (gum) disease? It’s true! This bacterial infection affects about 50% of the adult population in the US, and many are completely unaware that they have it. At MayFair Dental Associates, we take the health of the gums very seriously, so much so that our team includes a periodontist (gum specialist), Dr. Isler. He’s taken special training to find, prevent, and treat periodontal disease using a wide variety of advanced therapies you just won’t find at your average dental office.
As we touched on above, periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that attacks the gums, roots of the teeth, as well as the bone that supports them. It usually develops due to a lack of consistent oral hygiene, which allows plaque and bacteria to build up under the gum line. Some lifestyle factors, such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, certain medications, and even advanced age can make a person more likely to suffer from periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is usually divided into two stages. The milder form is called gingivitis, and its symptoms include:
Left untreated, gingivitis can eventually turn into advanced periodontal disease, known as periodontitis. Its symptoms are much more serious:
Periodontal disease is actually the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States!
As with any dental problem, our primary focus is on prevention. A patient can help themselves at home by brushing and flossing consistently, and they should also attend two checkups and cleanings each year. At these appointments, we’ll examine the gums for any sign of infection, and a cleaning will be able to remove plaque and bacteria from hard to reach areas in the mouth that your tools at home can’t.
However, if we do see that a patient has periodontal disease, this is where Dr. Isler’s expertise can help. For minor cases, he can provide a deep cleaning called scaling and root planing, which is designed to remove plaque and bacteria directly from the gum line. He can also apply a topical antibiotic to eliminate any bacteria hidden deep below the gums. And, for patients dealing with gum recession, he can even perform a non-invasive procedure to restore both health and appearance to the smile.
If your gums are looking a little swollen or feeling more sensitive lately, then it’s a good idea to go ahead and give us a call. You won’t be able to do much about periodontal disease at home, and it will only get worse over time. However, with Dr. Mark Isler, he’ll be able to take care of it right away. To learn more about our periodontal services or schedule an appointment, contact us today.