Did you know that periodontal disease (also called gum disease) is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults? Even more staggering is the fact that nearly half of adults over the age of 30 have gum disease in some form and may not even be aware of it!
So what is gum disease? You can essentially think of it as an infection of the primary support system for your teeth, which is your jawbone and gums. But what causes this condition, and how can you protect yourself from it? Read on.
Gum Disease 101
The early stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. Those who suffer from gingivitis may not even realize it because there are very few symptoms early on. Here are some of the signs you might notice if you have gingivitis:
- Swollen or irritated gums
- Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
- Chronic bad breath that doesn't go away with brushing or flossing
If you notice any of these symptoms, it's important to schedule a checkup with your dentist right away. In many cases, you may be able to successfully manage gingivitis with a professional cleaning and improvements to your home care.
If your gum disease is advanced, it's called periodontitis. More damage has been done in this stage, and you may notice that your teeth begin to feel mobile or you have discomfort when chewing.
What's the Cost of Periodontal Disease Treatment?
The answer to this question varies greatly with each person depending on their unique needs. For example, if you're treating periodontitis, you'll need a deep cleaning that reaches below the gumline to remove the plaque and tartar buildup that is causing your infection. This is called periodontal scaling and root planing, and it's more costly than a professional cleaning that can treat gingivitis.
Your dentist may also recommend antibiotic treatment to combat your infection or even gum grafting surgery for severe cases.
The good news is that gum disease is a highly preventable condition. One of the best ways to protect yourself from the cost and damage incurred by gum disease is to visit your dentist in Wilmington, DE every six months for teeth cleanings and checkups.
If you or a loved one needs periodontics in Wilmington, we invite you to call our dental office today at (302) 994-2660 to learn how we can help you.