It’s surprising how many people take great care of their teeth but don’t give their gums a second thought. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss, so if you want to keep your teeth for a lifetime, you need to pay attention to the state of your gums.
Your Gums Are Important
Gum tissue surrounds and helps stabilize your teeth. Keeping your teeth carefully aligned means that your teeth meet exactly how they’re supposed to which avoids problems with your bite.
Your gums also fit closely against your teeth and act as a barrier to infection. Infection in the mouth typically happens due to dental plaque, a thin, sticky film formed by bacteria in the mouth. Plaque forms on the gumline around the teeth and if left undisturbed it can begin to irritate the gum tissue.
About Gum Disease
Healthy gums are firm and pink in color. When plaque takes hold, the acids that the bacteria secrete irritate and inflame the gum tissue, causing it to swell and to change color. If your gums are dark red or even purple; if they bleed when you brush or floss; or if they’re become swollen or sensitive, you may have the first stage of gum disease – gingivitis.
Most cases of gingivitis can be handled by a thorough dental cleaning to remove every trace of plaque. Without the constant irritation from plaque, the gum tissue usually heals, becoming pink and firm once again.
If gingivitis is left untreated, things begin to get much more serious. The gums begin to pull away from the teeth, which can allow bacteria to get below the gumline and create pockets of infection. That infection can attack the ligament which stabilizes the tooth, leading it to become loose and ultimately fall out.
The advanced stage of gum disease is known as periodontitis, and it needs professional treatment. When it comes to safe, gentle, and effective gum disease treatment, count on Dr. Ryan Shepherd and all the staff at Uptown Dental Associates in Albuquerque, NM.
Advanced Gum Disease Treatment
First, some reassurance: we take patients’ pain very seriously. We go to considerable lengths to make sure that the area to be treated is completely numb before we do anything else.
Depending on the degree of infection, Dr. Shepherd will use one or more of these gum disease treatments:
- Our state-of-the-art NV Pro 3 dental laser will remove small amounts of infected gum tissue. Laser treatment is more comfortable and promotes faster healing.
- Dental scaling removes plaque and a hardened form of plaque called calculus or tartar.
- Root planing smoothes the tooth roots to make it more difficult for infection to form.
Don’t Leave Your Gums At Risk
Inflamed gums are bad news, but they don’t have to lead to a bad ending. If you suspect that you might have the symptoms of gum disease, take action now! Your condition will not improve on its own and will almost certainly get worse without professional treatment.
Call Uptown Dental Associates today at 505-407-8781 to schedule a consultation.