Gum disease in its various forms (gingivitis through advanced periodontitis) can affect anyone. At Prairie Dental Care in Prairie Village, KS, family dentists, Dr. Terry Linneman and Dr. Jason Beckman, help patients keep their gums healthy. Gums are the gateway to oral health and good systemic health, too.
Teeth and their support
Your jaw bone anchors your tooth roots, and your gums support and nourish your teeth. Pink and supple, gum tissue forms a collar-like seal around each tooth.
When bacteria-filled plaque and tartar invade that collar-like seal (gum pocket, or sulci), infection ensues. That's what gum disease is--an infection which destroys the soft tissue and when unchecked, the underlying bone, too.
Teeth eventually lose their anchorage, loosening, shifting, and even falling out. Gum disease is, after all, the number one reason why Americans lose their teeth, says the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta.
Symptoms of gum disease
At first, you may not even notice you have a problem, but fortunately, your hygienist and family dentist at Prairie Dental Care in Prairie Village know the signs only too well. Typically, gingivitis shows as bleeding, tender, red and puffy gum tissue. As the problem advances, your dentist will spot symptoms such as:
- Separating, loose teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Pus in gum pockets
- Increasing pocket depth as measured by a small periodontal probe
- Changes in how a denture fits or in how teeth bite together
- Sensitive, painful teeth
- Abscesses on the gums
- Dark gum tissue
- Tooth roots which show above the gum line
Get to it
For many people, treating gum disease is a matter of more diligent brushing and flossing at home and a deep cleaning with their family dentist in Prairie Village. Others, though, have more advanced difficulties and may need:
- Deep tooth scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar and allow gums to re-attach to tooth surfaces
- Antibiotic medication for infection
- Gum flap surgery, cleaning and grafting
- Bone grafting to compensate for deteriorating jaw bone
- More frequent dental visits for cleanings and follow-up care
Additionally, all dental patients can increase gum health with a high fiber diet, plenty of water and smoking cessation. Even people with a hereditary tendency toward gum disease can keep their soft tissues healthy and retain all their teeth for life.
Contact Prairie Dental Care
In Prairie Village, your go-to family dentists are Dr. Jason Beckman and Dr. Terry Linneman. Call them for a cleaning and check-up or if you have questions about your gum health: (913) 649-7500.