What do you first look at when you see someone smile? If you're like most people, you likely focus on the teeth, but what about the gums? After all, solid periodontal health is critical to retaining your pearly whites, as well as your general well-being. At Garner Family Dentistry in Mount Pleasant, SC, the dentist to see about periodontal disease is Dr. Cynthia Garner—she'll help you care for your gum health.
What is gum disease?
It's a dangerous inflammation of the soft tissues that surround your teeth. Caused by toxic biofilms called plaque and tartar, periodontal disease damages gums, loosens teeth, and harms your overall health by increasing the likelihood of heart disease, stroke, dementia, diabetes, arthritis, and more. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the United States.
Usually caused by hereditary factors, smoking, and poor oral hygiene, gum disease starts small with mild gingivitis. While you may not be aware of it, your dentist readily detects it in her Mount Pleasant office when you come in for an exam and cleaning.
Most often, a thorough tooth scaling to remove plaque and tartar quells the bleeding and puffiness associated with gingivitis. However, more advanced treatments, such as gum grafting, root planing, and laser gum therapy may become necessary to treat advanced periodontitis.
Do you have gum disease?
Here's what your dentist and hygienist look for:
- Red, puffy, or tender gum tissue
- Pimples or fistulas on the gums
- Bad breath
- A long-tooth appearance (gum recession and crown lengthening)
- Darkened gum tissue
- Loose teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Changes in how teeth come together
- Bleeding during flossing and brushing
- Deep spaces between roots and gums (periodontal pockets)
- Dental sensitivity
Prevent gum problems
See your dentist in Mount Pleasant, SC, every six months for an exam and hygienic cleaning. Dr. Garner and her professional team will set you on a path toward excellent gum health. Call Garner Family Dentistry for your appointment: (843) 884-6002.