Periodontal disease affects the gums, bone, and overall health of millions of Americans. Are you one of them? Here at the St. Louis office of Drs. Jeffery and Jodi Johnson, your dentists watch for signs of gum problems and offer today's best treatments. Read on to learn more about this preventable and treatable oral health issue, and how your dentists can help create your best possible smile.
Symptoms of periodontal disease
Gum disease develops when plaque and tartar, both bacteria-filled biofilms, collect between the teeth and under the gums. A carbohydrate-loaded diet, poor oral hygiene habits, alcohol abuse, smoking, and hereditary factors contribute to mild gingivitis and its more serious cousin, periodontitis.
Just what does gum disease look like? While gum problems are not always obvious to the patient, they are to Drs. Jeffery and Jodi Johnson. Here at our St. Louis office, your dentist looks for:
- Bad breath
- A metallic taste in the mouth
- Pus at the gum line
- Loose, separating teeth
- Changes in dental bite or in the fit of a denture
- Pain upon biting and chewing
- Gum recession
- Exposed tooth roots
- Periodontal pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) deeper than three millimeters
You should be concerned
Left unchecked, gum disease progresses and causes tooth loss. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults.
Additionally, periodontitis is inflammatory in nature, potentially harming all body systems. The American Heart Association reports a potential link to cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, and hypertension. Additional problems are type-2 diabetes, arthritis, dementia, erectile dysfunction, kidney, liver dysfunction, and more.
What you can do
Mild gingivitis may be treated with improved brushing and flossing at home, along with a low-carbohydrate diet and adequate hydration. However, more advanced cases of gum disease need to be addressed with in-office treatments such as:
- Deep cleaning and root planing to remove stubborn deposits of plaque and tartar
- Instillation of antibiotics at the gum line
- Gum grafts to cover exposed roots
Your dentist will comprise a care plan specific to your stage of gum disease and other oral health factors. Most people respond well to more frequent in-office cleanings.
Are your gums healthy?
Know for sure. Contact the offices of Drs. Jeffery and Jodi Johnson for a complete dental check-up and hygienic cleaning. Keep your teeth and your best oral health by phoning our St. Louis, MO, office at (314) 427-7400.