By: Dr. Christopher Lim
Posted on: August 9, 2019
Some of the most common dental problems are cavities and gum disease. However, these problems are also the most preventable. With proper at-home care such as brushing and flossing, and regular visits to the dentist, patients can often avoid needing to have cavities filled or gum disease treated.
While most patients understand how a cavity occurs, they may be less aware of gum disease. Similar to cavities, gum disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth. When bacteria remain between the gums and the teeth, they can cause infection. As the infection grows, pockets form between the teeth and the gums. Gum disease is not only harmful to oral health; it can also lead to overall health problems if the infection travels from the gums to the blood stream.
If you do have gum disease, you may be wondering if it’s curable or want to know the way it’s treated. This often depends on the severity of your condition. Gum disease that is caught early is known as gingivitis and is relatively easy to treat. Patients who have gingivitis are educated about the proper way to brush and the importance of flossing. When these habits are improved, the symptoms of gum disease, such as swollen gum tissue or bleeding while brushing and flossing will subside.
Gum disease that has progressed further may require aggressive treatment. While only your dentist will be able to tell for sure, signs of advanced gum disease include teeth that appear to be longer because the gum line is receding, teeth that feel loose, or bad breath that simply don’t go away. Treatment for gum disease that has progressed this far often includes deep cleaning, medication or medicated mouthwash, along with better at home care. In some cases, oral surgery will be needed. During surgery, the gum is lifted away and the infection is completely cleared out. Then, the gums are sutured tightly back into place.
For more information about prevention or treatment of gum disease, contact Dr. Christopher Lim of Hillside Dental. Dr. Lim and his entire team are deeply committed to helping patients keep their mouths, and their bodies, healthy.