If you’re old enough to remember the movie Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, then you might recall a humorous scene where Roberts’ character exclaims, “And you shouldn’t neglect your gums!” Even if you’re not old enough to remember this movie, that’s still wise advice. Your gums are the foundation of a beautiful smile
Unfortunately, gum disease can rob you of your smile, your oral health and even your overall well being. At Distinguished Dental, Keller dentist Dr. Sheri McIntosh and her staff offer effective periodontal therapy to reverse the negative effects of gum disease and stop its progression.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum or periodontal disease is a bacterial infection—actually, one of the most common among American adults. Bacteria hide out in plaque, that clear and sticky substance that makes your teeth feel somewhat rough if you haven’t brushed and flossed in while. As plaque accumulates on the surfaces of your teeth and along the gum line, the bacteria cause inflammation. Eventually, bacteria invade the gum pockets around your teeth, destroying both gum tissue and the supporting bone structure underneath.
The Consequences of Gum Disease
If only the repercussions of gum disease were confined to your mouth. However, the same inflammation that is associated with gingivitis and periodontitis—the first and second phases of periodontal disease—is also linked to a number of bodily illnesses and diseases. These include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses
- Pregnancy complications
Therefore, treating gum disease is crucial not only for your oral health, but for your general health as well. More information on the link between periodontal health and systemic health can be found through the Oral Biology and Dentistry Journal.
Periodontal Therapy in Keller
If the dental hygienist or Dr. McIntosh spots one of the early signs of gum disease—red, swollen or bleeding gums—during one of your regular dental checkups, then you may be able to stop it on your own. We’ll show you how you can more effectively brush and floss your teeth in order to remove plaque and prevent it from building up along your gum lines again. We may also recommend more frequent dental cleanings in our office.
On the other hand, if professional treatment is required, we prescribe a deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing. Performed with a soft tissue laser, this procedure removes plaque and tartar and smoothes rough root surfaces. Dr. McIntosh may also apply a topical antibiotic to kill any remaining bacteria.
Call Your Keller Dentist Today
If you’ve noticed that your gums are tender and bleed when you brush and floss, then contact Distinguished Dental to schedule an appointment. Remember—you shouldn’t neglect your gums!