Periodontitis, more commonly called gum disease, refers to an infection along the gumline that causes bleeding, inflammation, and gum recession.
Left untreated, the effects don’t stop at gum and tooth loss. Major health complications could easily follow you if you don’t take care of your teeth and gums.
Johnny L. Smith, DMD, in Peoria, Arizona, is a board-certified specialist who can help you treat and prevent gum disease, which chronically affects more than half of adults over age 30 in the United States.
Dr. Smith is invested in saving not only your teeth and your smile, but the rest of your body from the damaging effects of gum disease.
How do I know it’s gum disease?
When gum disease rears its ugly head, it’s hard to miss. You might think that the main symptom would be bad breath, but this isn’t the only thing to watch.
The first step in gum disease is usually gingivitis. When bacteria-filled plaque builds on your teeth, this irritates your gums, causing inflammation and discomfort. Understand that you can’t get rid of all plaque through your daily brushing and flossing, but doing both consistently cleans away enough to keep you healthy until your dentist is able to remove it all.
However, when gingivitis exacerbates, it becomes gum disease. Gum disease can look like:
- Red, inflamed gums
- Gums that bleed after brushing or flossing
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Persistent bad breath
Gum disease erodes the teeth and mandible, your jawbone. Without at least the standard recommended twice-daily brushing and flossing, you’re putting yourself at risk of exacerbating or developing diabetes, raising your risk of a stroke, and developing rheumatoid arthritis and certain respiratory diseases.
Your risk for gum disease can also be affected by your family history, whether you smoke, your personal health history, your age, and your diet. Going for regular check-ups is essential in the fight against gum disease, and our friendly professionals are here to help you win.
How to prevent gum disease
Treating gum disease can include invasive and uncomfortable procedures. Your dentist may need to surgically remove the infection if it’s severe enough.
Don’t skip your regular maintenance – including cleanings
We can’t stress enough the importance of twice-daily brushing and flossing, but also remember to visit your dentist. Part of our job is acting as your first line of defense against any oral issue, and to do that, we need your help.
If coming to the dentist makes you nervous, don’t worry! We offer sedation dentistry at our practice, in addition to a warm and soothing environment. Our goal is to help you maintain the best possible oral hygiene so you won’t have to deal with issues like gum disease later.
Eat a balanced diet
Things like alcohol and sugar don’t just affect your bodily organs — they also affect your teeth. Protect your teeth with a diet that focuses on fiber-filled fruits and vegetables. Limit your sugar and alcohol intake, and make sure to drink plenty of water.
If you’re craving a snack, try apples, nuts, carrots, or other teeth-cleaning whole foods.
Smoking nicotine is linked to a variety of health problems. An estimated 480,000 people die of smoking-related causes every year, and smoking increases your risk of developing gum disease, cancers, and COPD.
Come in for a cleaning
We would love the chance to work with you to get and keep your oral health on track. We offer cleanings and guidance for good oral health, as well as a variety of treatment options for many issues with the mouth, gums, and throat.
Call Dr. Smith’s office today at 623-972-6137, or request a consultation online.