Sometimes called gum disease or periodontitis, periodontal disease is a gum infection that can damage your soft tissue, and if you’re not careful, the bones that support your teeth. Left untreated, the condition can lead teeth to loosen or fall out entirely. The good news is that periodontal disease is largely preventable if you commit to a dental care routine.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Your gums should ideally be pale pink and firm. If you’ve noticed any of the following, you may need to see a periodontist in Las Cruces, NM:
Red or purple gums
Tender or bleeding gums
Blood on the toothbrush/floss
Loss of teeth
Pus between teeth and gums
A change in bite
Causes of Periodontal Disease
The causes of periodontal disease usually starts with bacteria, also known as plaque in the mouth. Food debris will react with the bacteria in your mouth creating plaque, which can impact the balance of your oral health. If allowed to harden under the gumline from poor oral care, it will stay on your teeth and irritate the gum and bone. The longer it remains there, the more damage it will do. (It should be noted that some people are more at risk for this disease, based on their personal health and genetic history.)
There are also different stages of gum disease. For instance, gingivitis is a mild type of gum disease, which can be reversed with at-home care. However, periodontitis is more severe and will require professional attention to avoid further damage to your teeth. This is why it’s so important to pay attention to how your mouth changes over time to ensure better oral health.
Tips for Healthier Gums
At University Family Dental, we want everyone to feel empowered to take care of themselves. Here’s what you can do to stay on top of your gum health:
Brushing/flossing: Removing plaque immediately is the best way to prevent it from turning into tartar. Plaque can build up quickly, so at minimum, you need to be attacking it twice a day.
Change your habits: Smoking, excess weight, and recreational drug use, and poor nutrition can all increase your risk of periodontitis. Focusing on healthier living can have a marked effect on not just your mouth, but your body and mind as well.
Checkups: Our dentists at University Family Dental in Las Cruces, NM — even one who isn’t a periodontist — can tell you how your gums are progressing. It’s important to schedule regular checkups every six months to avoid surprises down the line.
The more you neglect your gums, the more likely it is you’ll experience tooth loss in the future. Plus, it is possible for the bacteria that cause periodontitis to enter your blood through the issue and potentially affect different parts of the body.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
From scaling to cleaning to root planning, University Family Dental is here to help the people in Las Cruces keep their gums as healthy as possible. We work to remove the bacterial layer that destroys gum tissue, using proven treatments to prevent tooth loss and halt any bone damage around the teeth. Once the initial steps have been taken, we then schedule maintenance for every three months to ensure your bacterial counts stay low and your natural teeth stay protected. We will refer you to a specialist should it be deemed necessary.