Gingivitis, gum disease, and periodontal disease are all terms that describe a stage in the same infectious process - a process that affects at least half of the adults in our country. Today, gum disease is the primary factor in tooth loss in adults. Statistics show that more than 30 percent of adults over the age of forty have lost at least one tooth. At Athens TLC Dental, one of our goals is to build strong, trusting relationships with our patients through which they are encouraged to maintain preventive care that will keep their mouth and their body healthy.
One of the most dangerous aspects of gum disease is that it develops and progresses with little to no symptoms. We have identified periodontal disease in many patients who were completely unaware of the damage being done to their gums, teeth, and their body. Detecting gum disease at the right time – or preventing it altogether – is optimal due to the severe impact this disease can have. In addition to loose teeth and tooth loss, chronic bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth, gum disease plays a major role in the development and management of numerous health conditions. Research associates gum disease with low-birth weight infants, pre-term deliveries, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and even certain types of cancer.
Clearly, it is better to schedule your visit with Dr. Mathew far before you notice the signs of infection in your gums. If you already experience bleeding when you brush, bad breath that persists after brushing, tenderness or swelling, or a change in the way your teeth "feel" when you chew, do not hesitate to contact us. With the earliest possible care, there is a good chance that damage can be prevented. No matter the stage of gum disease, treatment options exist to get you back to optimal health and wellness.
In mild to moderate cases of gum disease, infection can be addressed with a deep cleaning. During this treatment, we clean the periodontal pockets, the areas between teeth and gums in which plaque and bacteria have accumulated. Root surfaces that have been affected by bacteria are smoothed. This encourages reattachment of gum tissue to teeth. Additionally, Dr. Mathew may apply Arestin antibiotic therapy to the area of infection. The gradual release of antibiotic medication directly in the affected area continually fights harmful bacteria, giving gums the opportunity to heal optimally.
We believe that information is our best defense against gum disease. You can get answers to your questions and solutions to your dental concerns when you visit us. Additionally, you may find pertinent information that will help you understand and manage gum health at the following sites: