Although gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss and affects one in every two Americans, many patients are clueless when it comes to noticing the warning signs. Many times gum disease is referred to as the silent disease because patients overlook the symptoms. Bleeding gums and bad breath are two common signs of periodontal disease. The best way to determine if you have this oral condition is to schedule a dental exam with Knoxville, TN dentist Dr. Ruth Bailey.
During your exam, Dr. Bailey will look for signs of bacteria build up and unhealthy gums. Ideally, gums should appear pink and securely attached to teeth. If she notices receding gum lines, easy bleeding, or swollen gums, she recommends root planing and scaling.
To learn more about gum disease from Knoxville, TN dentist Dr. Bailey, call 865-588-1294 to schedule an appointment today.
Stages of Gum Disease
Periodontal (gum) disease has three stages, although two are the most prevalent. The beginning stage, gingivitis, is managed with root planing and scaling, which is performed by a skilled dental hygienist. This treatment removes bacteria from underneath the gum line to prevent gum disease progression. If you notice that your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, schedule an appointment in our office to determine if you have gum disease or not. Other symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, tender gums and chronic halitosis (bad breath).
When gingivitis progresses to the next stage, it’s referred to as periodontitis. In this stage, adults experience tooth loss, gum recession, and loose teeth. Patients with periodontitis often require laser dentistry to manage the symptoms.
Acquiring Gum Disease
Gum disease is developed when bacteria builds up underneath the gum line. It’s a result from poor oral care and is prevented through twice daily brushing, regular flossing, and biannual dental exams and cleanings. Additionally, Dr. Bailey recommends using a daily antibacterial mouthwash to kill harmful bacteria. Some patients opt for using a tongue scraper to improve breath and remove bacteria from resting on the surface of the tongue.
Once periodontal disease is acquired, it can lead to overall health conditions when left unmanaged. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease have been linked to the presence of gum disease. Patients with poor periodontal health are at a higher risk for strokes. Pregnant woman with gum disease often experience premature birth and their children are commonly born with a low birth weight.
Patients with these conditions or habits have a greater chance of developing gum disease:
- Pregnant women
- Family history of gum disease
- High stress levels
Treating Gum Disease
Dr. Bailey treats gum disease with scaling and root planing. At the beginning of the treatment, she administers a local anesthetic to numb the affected area and limit discomfort. This dental technique includes using special tools to remove bacteria and plaque from below the gum line. Deep periodontal pockets are cleaned and delicate tooth roots are smoothed. Dr. Bailey uses this procedure in early onset cases of gum disease.
For advanced gum disease, Dr. Bailey recommends laser dentistry to sterilize gum tissue. After a local anesthetic is administered, the energy from the laser light gently cleans bacteria-plagued tissue with an intense light beam. Patients who undergo laser dentistry can expect a safe procedure with a quick recovery time.
Call 865-588-1294 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bailey in Knoxville, TN to discuss which gum disease treatment is most appropriate for you.