Protect Your Smile
You may think keeping up with your oral hygiene is enough to prevent oral diseases. However, even with impeccable habits, there’s still a risk of developing gum disease. Protecting your gums is essential to maintaining a healthy smile. Gum disease is very common and can degrade your oral and overall health.
At Holyoke Mall Dental, we want to ensure your gums are healthy and strong enough to last for years. By scheduling your biannual visits, we can help prevent and catch the early signs of gum disease. Learn more about the causes and symptoms of gum disease and what we can do to help you.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums, which gradually destroys the support of your natural teeth. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease.
Bacteria found in plaque produce toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell, and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. This allows bacteria and infections to enter the pockets and thrive. As the gum disease progresses, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss, receding gums, and tooth decay.
Gum Disease Symptoms
These are the symptoms of gum disease:
- Receding gumline
- Swollen and inflamed gums
- Tooth sensitivity
- Bad breath
- Tender and bleeding gums
If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, call our Holyoke office at (413) 538-7400 to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease doesn’t happen at once — the disease progresses over time. There are two primary stages of gum disease:
- Gingivitis — This is the first stage and can be reversed if caught early. You most likely won’t experience any pain or discomfort except for red swelling and inflamed gums.
- Periodontitis — If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to a more serious stage called periodontitis. The bones and tissue that’s supporting your teeth begin to wear down. You’ll experience severe pain, tooth loss, and other symptoms.
Causes of Gum Disease
Oral hygiene is what matters the most, but what you do daily contributes to the likelihood of gum disease. There are important factors that affect the health of your gums, such as:
- Poor nutrition
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Dry mouth from high blood sugar
Gum Disease Treatment
The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings at our Holyoke office. Alas, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
If you come into our office at the gingivitis stage, we can treat using the scaling and root planing process. This is the deep cleaning process that involves using small specialized dental tools to remove the excess plaque and tartar from your teeth, gums, and below the gumline. After the scaling is done, Dr. Chen will make sure your roots are planed, or smoothed, to prevent bacteria growth and make the gums reattach to the bones.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I stop gum disease from worsening?
We recommend following the instructions to prevent gum disease from worsening:
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid alcohol consumption and tobacco usage
- Limit sugar intake
- Brush gently to prevent gum recession
- Rinse with warm salt water after every meal
Will my dental insurance cover the cost of gum disease treatment?
Most insurance companies should cover a portion of the cost. We highly encourage you to speak with your insurance provider to learn more about your coverage plan and the benefits they offer. We also offer flexible financing options for you to choose from so you don’t delay your treatment any longer.
Get Your Smile Back
The team at Holyoke Mall Dental will do everything to find the best treatment for all your dental needs. With our preventative care, you’ll be able to smile freely and restore your oral health back. To learn more about our preventative care or to schedule your appointment, call our Holyoke office at (413) 538-7400 today. You can also fill out our online contact form and one of our staff will get back to you promptly.