Serving Amarillo, Canyon, Dalhart and the surrounding Texas Panhandle
Gum disease is an infection that develops in the tissue of your gums, but if it is not treated, the health consequences can be dire.
The stages of gum disease
Gum disease is caused when bacteria accumulate in your mouth from poor oral hygiene, eventually causing an infection in the tissue of your gums.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. After an infection develops in your gums, they will become inflamed, puffy, sensitive or bleed easily. In general, a commitment to good oral hygiene such as brushing twice a day, and flossing daily, as well as regular professional cleanings, can help combat gingivitis, and prevent it from getting worse.
The next stage of gingivitis is called periodontitis. This occurs when the infection-causing bacteria in the gums develop pockets under the gums and around the roots of teeth. At this point, the bacteria can easily enter your bloodstream and begin to affect your overall health. Left untreated, the bacteria just continue to multiply, thus worsening the existing pockets and compromising the state of your oral health.
Risks of gum disease
Over time, gum disease can have a profound negative effect on both your oral health and overall health. If you have gum disease that goes undiagnosed or untreated, you could encounter any of the following problems:
- Gum recession
- Tooth loss
- Jawbone loss
- Dental pain
- Premature aging
Did you know gum disease even could threaten your life? Recent research conducted by the American Academy of Periodontology found that a person with gum disease has nearly twice as high a risk factor for developing cardiac disease.
Gum disease also increases the risk of:
- Heart attack
- Low birth weight in babies
- Preterm birth
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- and more!
Gum disease treatment
It is vital to catch gum disease and stop its effects as quickly as possible, ideally when it is still in the initial stage of gingivitis. Once gum disease advances to periodontitis, then there has been permanent damage done to your teeth and mouth that can only be treated with professional dental procedures that focus on stopping the spread of the disease.
In the past, treating gum disease often meant having gum surgery; a painful and lengthy procedure that involved cutting away infected tissue with a scalpel. Modern periodontal therapy has improved by leaps and bounds.
As a result, the Esler Dental Group offers the following treatment options for gum disease:
- Laser therapy
- Repetitive therapy
- Perio protect
Gum disease prevention
As always, prevention is your best defense against gum disease or any other oral health problem. While certain pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or pregnancy can increase your risk of developing gum disease, in most cases, the bacteria that cause the infection accumulate because a patient does not practice adequate oral hygiene.
Visit your dentist reguarly for a professional cleaning and an examination of your teeth and mouth. At the Esler Dental Group, we like to take an individualized approach when providing oral care for our patients. A dental cleaning at least once every six months may be enough for healthy individuals, but we may find that we can better serve your oral health needs by recommending more frequent dental cleanings. Last, if you use tobacco in any form, please try to quit.
To learn more about gum disease or how to protect yourself against it, contact our office by calling (806) 358-8021.
The Esler Dental Group is proud to serve patients in Amarillo, Canyon, Dalhart and the surrounding Texas Panhandle.