Gum Disease/Periodontal Disease
Gum disease is also referred to as periodontal disease and it occurs when the gums around the teeth become infected. One of the prime causes for an adult to lose their teeth is gum disease. Because its occurrence in a patient’s mouth is nearly pain free, many have no idea they have the disease. At each dental checkup, Dr. Keith Vevera, DMD and his staff at Vevera Family Dental in Cocoa Beach will examine for signs of periodontal disease by measuring the space between your teeth and gums.
What are the causes of gum disease?
Gum disease is brought on by a build-up of plaque which is a sticky type of bacteria that forms on the tooth. If the plaque isn’t eliminated (by flossing, brushing, and regular dental checkups), it is going to continue to build up and create toxins that will harm the gums. Periodontal disease forms just under the gum line, and creates small pockets that separate the gums from the tooth. Periodontal disease has two phases: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis – This is the early phase of gum disease, when the gums become red, swollen, and bleed easily. At this phase, the disease is treatable and may often be eliminated by every day brushing and flossing.
Periodontitis – When gingivitis is left untreated, it will advance to periodontitis, and gums and bone supporting the teeth become significantly and even damaged to the point that it is irreversible. Teeth can become loose, fall out, or even have to be removed by Dr. Vevera, DMD when the gums surrounding those teeth are infected with periodontis.
There are certain factors that can increase a patient’s risk of developing periodontal disease, which include:
- Smoking or use of chewing tobacco
- Certain forms of medications such as steroids, anti-epilepsy medications, cancer therapy medicines, calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives
- Bridges that don’t fit properly
- Teeth that are crooked
- Fillings that are old
- During pregnancy
Some common signs to watch for include:
- Gums that easily bleed
- Tender, red and/or swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Bad breath and/or bad tasting saliva
- Pus between the tooth and gums
- Permanent teeth which are loose or separating
- Any change in the fit of your natural bite when you are chewing
- Any changes in the fit of partial dentures
How is gum disease treated?
Treatments for gum disease can vary depending on the severity of each particular case. Typical treatments are all dental services available and performed by Dr. Keith Vevera, DMD and his staff at Vevera Family Dental which include:
- Non-surgical treatments, including at-home periodontal trays, and scaling and root planning (deep cleaning)
- Laser gum surgery and/or periodontal surgery
- Dental implants
How can you prevent gum disease?
To maintain a healthy smile, regular dental checkups are essential. You don’t need to lose your teeth to periodontal disease, and by practicing proper oral hygiene at home, you can significantly reduce your probabilities of ever getting gum disease. Remember to brush regularly, clean between your teeth (floss), eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits to help maintain and keep your smile healthy. Contact us at Vevera Family Dental in Cocoa Beach at (321) 236-6606, if you have any questions or concerns about your oral health. We are here to assist you in achieving and maintaining your health smile.
Dental Information Topics:
- About Gum Disease
- What is Sleep Apnea
- Emergency Dental Care
- About TMJ/TMD
- Preventative Care