Gum Disease & Gingivitis Treatment in Lexington, KY
Do you worry about the condition of your teeth and gums?
Our goal at Garden Springs Dental is to do everything possible to protect your family’s oral health. Healthy gums are literally the foundation for healthy teeth, and so we offer cleanings and exams to prevent problems like periodontal disease.
But even with the most conscientious oral hygiene, you can still develop gum disease. If you do, our dentists also offer therapies that will get your oral health back on track.
Schedule Your Next Dental Cleaning
Gum disease is preventable as long as you brush and floss conscientiously and visit us for dental exams and teeth cleanings at least twice a year.
Our dental office is open until 6 PM Monday through Friday, so you don’t have to worry about missing time from work or school. If it’s time for your next dental cleaning, please call our Lexington, KY dental office to arrange a convenient appointment.
- How Gum Disease Progresses
- Gingivitis: The First Stage of Gum Disease
- Periodontitis: Advanced Gum Disease
- Periodontal Deep Cleaning Treatment
- Risk Factors for Gum Disease
- The Effects of Gum Disease on Your Body
- Prevention Is the Key to Avoiding Gum Disease
How Gum Disease Progresses
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums, tissue, and ligaments that hold your teeth in place. The American Academy of Periodontology estimates that nearly half of all Americans between the ages of 20 and 50 have some degree of periodontal infection.
Plaque is a sticky, bacteria-filled film coats your teeth throughout the day. You can remove a lot of plaque from your teeth when you brush and floss conscientiously. But if plaque sits on your teeth and isn’t removed with brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar or calculus that you can’t remove with brushing alone. Only a dental hygienist or dentist can remove tartar from your teeth using specialized instruments.
Gingivitis: The First Stage of Gum Disease
Plaque is a sticky, bacteria-filled film coats your teeth throughout the day. Brushing and flossing conscientiously can help remove a lot of plaque from your teeth when you brush and floss conscientiously.
Plaque produces toxins that irritate sensitive gum tissue and lead to gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, indicated by bleeding, swelling, or tender gums. If our Lexington, KY dentists catch gingivitis during a routine dental exam, it is usually easy to reverse.
One of our skilled dental hygienists will provide a thorough professional teeth cleaning and give you tips for improving your at-home oral hygiene. Be sure to stay current with dental cleanings as recommended by your hygienist.
Periodontitis: Advanced Gum Disease
Without treatment, gingivitis progresses and leads to periodontitis or advanced gum disease. With periodontitis, your gums start to pull away from your teeth and open up pockets between your gums and teeth. Bacteria collects in these pockets and below the gum line, causes an infection, and the toxins start to break down bone and connective tissue that hold your teeth in place.
If we don’t remove the infection with a deep-cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing (SRP), you are in significant danger of losing the tooth. Even worse, as bone in your jaw breaks down, neighboring teeth can start to loosen and may also need to be removed.
We can control periodontitis, but once jaw bone is lost, it is gone for good.
Periodontal Deep Cleaning Treatment
If you have advanced gum disease, our dentists or hygienists would recommend a deep cleaning treatment called scaling and root planing. On of our skilled hygienists perform this procedure using specially designed professional instruments. The purpose of scaling is to gently remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and below the gum line.
Root planing smooths the root surfaces of the teeth, which eliminates rough areas where bacteria can linger and cause gum disease. A smooth surface also makes it easier for gum tissue to reattach to the teeth
Our hygienists are very skilled and gentle, but we will numb your mouth to ensure that you are completely comfortable during the procedure. To minimize the length of time you spend in the dental chair, deep periodontal cleaning at our Lexington, KY dental office is usually completed over two appointments.
Risk Factors for Gum Disease
Prevention also includes making you aware of the risk factors for gum disease. Knowing whether you are at risk can help you take steps to protect yourself from gum disease.
Some common risk factors for gum disease are:
Smoking – One of the leading risk factors for gum disease is smoking. Smoking not only increases your risk of gum disease, but it also makes it harder for your body to fight infections, lowering the odds for successful treatment.
Poor oral hygiene – The longer you go without brushing and flossing, the more opportunity bacteria have to build up on your teeth and along the gum line and cause an infection.
- Hormonal changes – These changes make gums more sensitive, which makes it easier for a gum infection to develop.
- Diabetes – Those with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing infections like gum disease.
- Medications – Saliva helps carry away bacteria and food particles and promotes healthy gums, but many medications cause dry mouth and leave you susceptible to gum disease.
- Genetics – Some people have a genetic predisposition to gum disease and need to pay special attention to their oral health.
If you have noticed a change in the way your teeth feel or you have bleeding gums, call our Lexington, KY dental office. Our dentists will investigate to see if you have gum disease and recommend the appropriate treatment.
The Effects of Gum Disease on Your Body
Did you know that chronic gum disease affects more than your oral health? Researchers have discovered that bacteria from gum infections can be carried by your bloodstream to other parts of your body. While scientists are still investigating this connection, the evidence is overwhelming that gum disease contributes to numerous general health conditions:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
- Kidney disease
- Premature or low birthweight babies
Taking care of your oral health is more important than ever, and gum disease is highly preventable with excellent oral hygiene habits and routine dental exams and cleanings. Call our Lexington, KY dental office to schedule your next appointment, and we’ll be happy to explain how to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Prevention Is the Key to Avoiding Gum Disease
It’s important to note that gum disease is so prevalent because many people either don’t notice or don’t have any symptoms. We stress the need for diligent oral hygiene and routine preventive cleanings because it’s much easier to have your teeth cleaned twice a year professionally than to deal with a periodontal infection.
As damaging as gum disease can be, it’s good to remember that it is highly preventable. With conscientious oral hygiene, a nutritious diet, and routine dental cleanings, you may never have to worry about gum disease.
The worst thing you can do is put off dental appointments because you are embarrassed about the condition of your teeth. We aren’t here to judge or lecture you about what you have done in the past. We are just happy to have the opportunity to support you in taking steps to enjoy a healthier smile.