How to Avoid Periodontal Disease

Grand Rapids Dentists

How to Avoid Periodontal Disease

700 400 Grand Rapids MI Dentist

Gum Disease Treatment Dentists in Grand Rapids, MIGum disease can strike the best of us. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47.2% of Americans age 30 and older have periodontal disease.

While gum disease can be reversed in its early stages, the same can’t be said once it progresses beyond mild gingivitis and into chronic and long-term periodontitis.

If you suspect you have gum disease, don’t waste any time scheduling an appointment with one of our Grand Rapids dentists. At GR Family Dental, we can help protect your smile, even if you’ve already been diagnosed with the condition.

Here’s what you need to know about gum disease, symptoms to look out for, and how you can prevent it from happening.

Preventing Gum Disease

The easiest way to fight gum disease is to commit to an at-home oral hygiene routine. That means brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once daily. Rinsing with a mouthwash after you’re done brushing and flossing will also help clear out food particles and plaque.

Seeing our dentists every 6 months for a professional teeth cleaning is another major way you can keep gum disease from setting in. During these visits, we can let you know about any problem areas we notice and if further treatment is needed.

Though the onset of gum disease can produce irritated and red gums, the condition is also capable of progressing without any pain. Because of this, it’s important to take note of any changes you see or feel when going through the motions of brushing and flossing.

Common symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Sore, red, or inflamed gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in mouth
  • Pain when chewing
  • Loose teeth (can lead to tooth loss)
  • Deep pockets between teeth and gums

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, please don’t hesitate to contact our Grand Rapids dental office. There is a chance that you may only have early gingivitis which can be reversed. If your gum disease is more severe, we offer treatments to help manage the condition for a healthier smile.

What are the Main Causes of Gum Disease?

Gum disease is caused by untreated plaque buildup on the surface of your teeth and gums. When the bacteria in plaque consumes sugar and starch left inside your mouth, it produces acid that erodes tooth enamel. You have a higher risk of gum disease if you neglect your oral health by not brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once daily.

Not visiting our dentists every 6 months for a cleaning and oral examination can also put you at greater risk of developing gum disease. During your appointment, our dentists can spot the early signs of gum disease so you have a better chance of being able to protect your oral health.

There are three factors that can affect your prognosis for gum disease:

  1. What you do at home in terms of oral hygiene and diet
  2. What our dentists do for you
  3. Your genetics

Working with our dentists can help you control at least two of these three factors. When you first become our patient, we have you fill out a form regarding your medical and dental history so we can better serve your oral health needs. This is just one of the many ways we look out for our patients.

Can Gum Disease be Reversed?

Early gum disease (also called gingivitis) can be reversed by adopting good oral hygiene habits and seeing one of our dentists regularly. When you’re in the office, we’ll be able to remove plaque and tartar and monitor any arising issues. However, it’s important that you also keep up with brushing and flossing at home.

Advanced gum disease (also called periodontitis) cannot be reversed. However, our dentists are able to mitigate the damaging effects of periodontal disease through scaling and root planing. Periodontal treatment can help you avoid some of the more serious side effects, such as receding gums and tooth loss.

What is Scaling and Root Planing?

People with periodontal disease tend to have deep gum pockets around teeth that get filled with plaque. During periodontal disease treatment, our dentists will be able to deep clean these pockets and smooth out your tooth roots. Not only does scaling and root planing remove plaque, but it also encourages receding gums to reattach to teeth.

Make Your Smile a Priority

Gum disease is preventable and does not have to happen to you. Even if it has, we can take care of your smile with specialized treatments designed to restore your oral health.  To request an appointment with our dentists in Grand Rapids, MI, call (616) 455-3020.

This blog post has been updated.