The Power of Prevention: How to Avoid Gum Disease

The Power of Prevention: How to Avoid Gum Disease
April 1, 2023

Gum disease is one of the most common oral problems we treat at Vineyard Dental & Orthodontics. It is nearly as common as dental cavities and affects more adults than children. The good news is that gum disease does not need to cause tooth loss, especially when you master the power of prevention.

What Is Gum Disease?

It is a bacterial infection of the gums. Initially, gum disease starts by damaging the gums only. This initial stage of infection is typically called gingivitis. The symptoms at this stage are often mild and moderate but easy to miss.

However, as the bacteria thrive in the mouth, they start damaging other tissues. It introduces a new stage of gum disease that damages the jaw bone and can even threaten tooth loss. The advanced stage of gum disease is called periodontitis. The longer you delay treatment, the more severe the infection becomes, causing permanent complications.

​Causes of Gum Disease

The main reason people suffer from gum disease is poor oral hygiene. If you skip teeth brushing and flossing for a while, it allows plaque and tartar to build up in your mouth. However, it is not the only reason. Other risk factors for gum disease are:

  1. Smoking and other tobacco usage
  2. High consumption of alcohol
  3. Type 2 diabetes
  4. Hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause.

​What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

In the initial stages of gum disease, you can miss the signs. However, as the infection progresses, you will notice the following symptoms:

  1. Persistent bad breath.
  2. Swollen, sore, and tender gums.
  3. Bleeding gums or streaks of blood when you brush your teeth
  4. Gingival embrasures – featuring small back triangles at the base of teeth near the gum line.
  5. Dental pain and discomfort when chewing food.

​How to Stop Gum Disease?

If you want to excel in dental health, you must truly believe in the power of prevention as better than finding a cure. The rule of thumb regarding how to stop gum disease is to have excellent oral hygiene. If you can keep your mouth clean, you significantly reduce the risks of gum disease. Some other tips to stop gum disease are:

  1. Routine dental visits – you need a dentist in Paso Robles, CA, to examine and clean your mouth once every three to six months.
  2. Don’t skip flossing – good oral hygiene is not just about brushing your teeth twice daily. Floss to target debris and food residue below the gum line.
  3. Eat right – healthy meals will provide your body with the necessary nutrients to maintain healthy gums. Further, some food choices can heighten the risk of oral infections, particularly sugary foods.

​How Can I Find a Good Dentist for Gum Disease Treatment?

Periodontics in Paso Robles, CA, is an area of dentistry that requires specialization. Some dentists have dedicated their lives to specializing in gum and jaw bone health to offer the best services to their patients. Some tips for finding a good dentist for gum disease treatment are:

  1. Seek referrals – another patient that has had gum disease treatment will point you in the right direction.
  2. Read reviews and testimonials – being the best dentist should translate to great patient satisfaction.
  3. Surgical options – find a dentist that can perform gum surgeries if that is what it takes to treat your infection.

Treatment Options Available for Gum Disease

Unfortunately, there is no cure for gum disease. Instead, dentists offer various treatment options that destroy bacteria in your mouth and restore damaged gum tissue. Some treatment options for gum disease are:

  1. Antibiotics – your dentist will prescribe antibiotics to kill bacteria in your mouth responsible for the infection.
  2. Deep cleaning – entails procedures to remove plaque and tartar from teeth. Deep cleaning features root planing and scaling that can target plaque hiding below the gum line.
  3. Gum grafting surgery – repairs damaged gums through guided tissue regeneration by obtaining graft tissues that can restore the receded portion of the gums.
  4. Pocket reduction surgery – the dentist can recommend a surgery that will reduce the size of saggy gum pockets that form due to infection.