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Posts for tag: periodontal disease

By MEHR TUCKER, DDS, LLC
August 01, 2019

It's estimated that almost half of the adult population in the United States has some degree of gum disease. However, gumdiseasejust because it's a common issue doesn't mean it's normal, and if you're in Rockville, MD, Dr. Mehr Tucker wants to help change those odds! She's a dentist who has received special training in the field of gum-related issues, called periodontics, and she's provided some information to her patients who are concerned that they might be have gum disease.

 

How does periodontal disease happen?

The bacteria-filled plaque that builds up on your teeth and causes cavities also causes problems for your gums. That's because the acid that forms from the bacteria interacting with starchy food particles creates an acid that breaks down the structure of the gum tissue, leading to gum disease. There are two levels of periodontal disease that your Rockville, MD, dentist will diagnose: gingivitis is the milder form that only affects the gum tissue, while periodontitis is more advanced and includes damage to the bone that holds the teeth in place.

 

What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

Healthy gum tissue is a medium pink color and lays flat against the teeth. If you have periodontal disease, your gums will typically appear red and swollen due to inflammation. They may also bleed easily when you brush or floss. Many people that are in the beginning stages of periodontitis (the more serious form of gum disease) begin to feel tooth sensitivity as the gums recede and the roots of the tooth are exposed to the air. You may even lose teeth if the bone has become damaged enough.

 

Can periodontal disease be fixed?

The good news is that periodontal disease is a treatable condition. However, it's more easily treated in its early stages. The teeth can be cleaned behind the edges of the gums in a procedure called root planing, and antibiotic rinses and medications can help discourage the growth of bacteria. For more severe periodontitis, gum tissue can be grafted onto areas where it has receded, and bone grafts can restore the damaged bone to allow for restoration options like implants. The most important thing you can do to prevent gum disease is to stay current on checkups with your Rockville dentist.

If you're concerned about periodontal disease, contact your dentist in Rockville, MD, Dr. Mehr Tucker, to make an appointment today. Call (301) 963-8900 or email at office@sfaa.dentist.

By Mehr Tucker, DDS, LLC
May 24, 2017
Category: Oral Health
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Although your smile wouldn't be the same without them, there's more to your gums than their looks. Besides helping to hold your teeth in place, they're also an important protective barrier for their roots.

Unfortunately, gums aren't immune to disease, especially periodontal (gum) disease. This bacterial infection, triggered by built-up dental plaque on teeth due to insufficient oral hygiene, can cause the gum tissues to detach from teeth and shrink back (recede). This can make your teeth more sensitive to hot or cold foods and beverages, as well as put them at even greater risk for tooth decay.

To treat gum recession, our first priority is to stop any ongoing gum disease through aggressive plaque removal. Depending on severity, this could require clinical procedures like scaling or root planing to remove plaque and tartar (hardened plaque deposits) at or below the gum line. This is especially crucial for improving gum tissue healing and stimulating potential reattachment.

Revitalizing gum tissues this way naturally has a better chance of occurring if we're able to prevent recession before it reaches the roots. If that does happen and we have sufficient gum tissue attachment remaining, we may need to give the gum tissue a helping hand through gum grafting surgery. There are a number of techniques depending on the circumstances, but they all use either tissue from another location in the patient's mouth or prepared tissue from another human donor. This type of surgery requires great skill and expertise, not to mention an aesthetic sense, to achieve a result that's both functional and attractive.

Other than daily brushing and flossing, the most important thing you can do for gum health is to see us as soon as you notice any signs of gum problems like swelling, bleeding or tooth sensitivity. The sooner we can diagnose and begin treating the problem, the less likely any gum recession will have a long-term impact on your health.

If you would like more information on gum health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Gum Recession.”