One of the most prevalent diseases in the U.S. is gum disease, affecting nearly 80% of adults. Many people don’t even realize they have it until it is too late. A hardened plaque called calculus building up along and under your gum line causes gum disease. Left alone, gum disease may lead to tooth loss, and has been linked to a number of other adverse health conditions. Regular dental cleanings every 6 months remove plaque buildup, reducing your risk of developing this destructive disease. Cleanings will also allow your dentist to spot any early signs of gum disease in order to begin preventative treatment.
If you would like to schedule a comprehensive dental cleaning with a Spokane dentist, please call us at 509-368-7788 (Spokane) or 509-228-3998 (Spokane Valley) or email Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics today.
When to Seek Professional Dental Care
The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. Signs of gingivitis include gums that bleed easily, swollen gums, and tooth sensitivity. If you develop these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with a dentist right away. Gingivitis is a sign that your gums are being irritated by hard bacteria buildup called plaque. If the plaque is not removed, you may develop a more serious form of gum disease called periodontal disease, an incurable condition that worsens over time. Early detection is essential for protecting your health.
Symptoms of periodontal disease include swollen and bleeding gums, a receding gum line, sensitive teeth, and tooth pain. Infections may develop under your teeth that can intensify your tooth pain. In many cases, infections will spread to the jawbone, causing extensive bone damage and tooth loss.
Other Health Concerns
Protecting your teeth is not the only reason that you should protect your gum health with good oral hygiene and regular cleanings. Bacteria from your mouth impact your whole body. Medical conditions such as heart disease, stroke, respiratory problems, osteoporosis, diabetes, dementia, and more have been linked to gum disease. Taking care of your mouth now may protect your overall health later.
Our office uses the VELscope, an FDA approved wireless scope that assesses the health of your gums using the natural tissue fluorescence of your gums. This tool allows us to check for viral, fungal, and bacterial infections in your mouth. In addition to checking for gum disease, VELscope screenings will show signs of any developing oral cancer. Nearly 45,750 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. In many cases, oral cancer is only discovered after it has metastasized elsewhere in the body, such as lymph nodes. By the time it has metastasized elsewhere, cancer is in later stages that are harder to recover from. Just like gum disease, early cancer detection using the VELscope is essential for successful treatment.
Treatment for Gum Disease
Oral hygiene is one of the best methods for combatting gingivitis. Brushing and flossing at least twice a day will remove food debris clinging to your teeth which cause plaque. Regular dental cleanings every 6 months will also remove disease-causing bacteria.
For more advanced periodontal disease care, treatment may include:
- Scaling, to gently remove hard plaque
- Root planning, to reduce rough areas in tooth roots that plaque may cling to
- ARESTINⓇ antibiotic treatment, to combat infection in pockets below your gums
- LANAPⓇ laser treatment, to remove bacteria and promote gum reattachment without stitches for a speedy recovery
We also offer 6:00 A.M. appointments for your convenience.
Severe cases where the jawbone is affected may require the attention of a periodontist. We will be happy to refer you to one of our trusted colleagues in order to continue your care and protect your health.
Don’t give gingivitis time to progress and cause you pain. Drs. Ken and Marnie Collins and their skilled team of hygienists will work with you to prevent or treat gum disease in order to protect your overall health. Please call us at 509-368-7788 (Spokane) or 509-228-3998 (Spokane Valley) or email Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics today to schedule gum disease treatment or a dental cleaning.