Periodontal Disease Therapy in Ocala, FL
A recent study reported that nearly half of Americans suffer from some form of gum disease. If you live in Ocala or surrounding communities and have any of the signs or symptoms listed below, we would be more than happy to provide a consultation regarding the state of your gum tissues.
Do your gums ever bleed when brushing or flossing? Are your teeth and gums very sensitive? Are your gums ever swollen, red, or sore? Do you have bad breath? Many people have these signs and do not know the reason. These indicators could mean that you have gingivitis. You’ve probably heard it referred to as gum disease.
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is a progressive disease where bacteria migrate below the gum line and destroy the anchoring effect of the gum on the attached tooth.
What are the Types of Gum Disease?
Gum disease has two major variations. First, gingivitis is the beginning stages of gum disease. It is essentially an infection below the gumline. It is characterized in part by red, swollen, or painful gums that can bleed easily when brushing. At this stage, the gum disease is completely reversible.
As gum disease progresses, it can turn into periodontitis. Periodontitis is the continuation of this chronic infection. In contrast to gingivitis, periodontitis begins to destroy the structures that support the tooth including the bone. In addition, periodontitis is not reversible. That said, it is important to remedy gum disease before it progresses to this point.
What are the Dangers of Gum Disease?
The mouth is a complex environment. Immediately following a dental cleaning that complex environment begins to change. Those changes can have negative effects on the oral cavity if the proper precautions are not taken. Plaque accumulation can be a major problem in the mouth. Plaque is essentially a film that accumulates from many different types of bacteria and their products. The presence of plaque makes the oral environment more acidic and one that is more conducive to the existence of “bad” bacteria. These changes in the environment can cause gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums.
In addition to the loss of teeth, gum disease can create systemic problems. There have been numerous studies that show the link between gum disease and heart disease. It is important for you to see your dentist if you think you may have gingivitis. Neglecting to do so can be costly and dangerous. The following statistics are incredible:
- Heart attack- If you have gingivitis you are two times as likely to develop coronary heart disease and it is 2.6 times more likely that your cardiovascular disease will prove to be fatal.
- Stroke- Men who have had gum disease have double the risk of ischemic (oxygen deprived) stroke than those who do not.
- Diabetes- The International Federation of Diabetes claims that controlling periodontal disease is one of the most effective ways to help keep blood sugar in a safe range. In addition, patients with diabetes are at a significant higher risk for gum disease than those with normal blood sugar.
- Pancreatic Cancer – a recent study at Harvard Medical School consisting of over 51,00 men showed that men with a history of gum disease have more than double the risk of cancer of the pancreas.
- Respiratory Diseases are more common in those with periodontal disease.
- Periodontal Dangers in Pregnancy – many studies have shown the link between low birthweight infants and mothers with periodontal disease.
How is Gum Disease Treated?
Gum disease especially in the early stages can often have no noticeable symptoms. This makes routine dental cleanings much more important because a trained clinician can diagnose gingivitis. At Weldon General and Cosmetic Dentistry, we utilize the latest in laser treatment to arrest and cure gum disease.
In many cases, gum disease can be arrested and reversed with a thorough cleaning by the hygienist and adequate home care following the cleaning. In other situations, more aggressive treatment is indicated. Dr. Weldon has the ability to treat these cases up to and including laser therapy. There are many degrees of gum disease and if you would like a thorough consultation and analysis, we encourage you to contact us electronically at any time or call us at (352) 622-3236.