Millions of Americans suffer from some form of periodontal disease. It develops when an increase of bacteria begins to build up around your teeth and gums. This happens due to a lack of oral health care. Dr. S. Jeremy Tu is a local dentist who diagnoses and treats periodontal disease. He serves patients from many areas, including Tiffin, IA. Dr. Tu also provides additional dental services to new and existing patients in Tiffin, IA.
The Importance of Healthy Gums
Keeping your gums healthy is important for oral health as well as your overall health. Many patients do not realize that poor oral health habits can lead to serious health complications.
Without proper oral hygiene, your teeth will begin to decay, and bacteria will thrive inside your mouth. These bacteria will develop into oral infections, referred to as periodontal disease. At this point, without treatment, you are guaranteed to suffer from many problems, including tooth loss. Additionally, it is possible for the bacteria to enter your bloodstream, which puts you at risk for heart disease and other health problems. Other consequences of unhealthy gums include pain, discomfort, and embarrassment, all of which will affect your overall well-being.
When to Seek Gum Disease Treatment
The most frightening thing about gum disease is the early signs often go unnoticed. This is the number one reason why consistent at-home oral hygiene habits and bi-annual appointments to your dentist are so important. These basic things will help avoid the development of periodontal disease. Below is a list of common gum disease symptoms. If you suffer from any of them, please reach out to our Tiffin, IA, area dentist office for help.
- Red, swollen, or sore gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Mouth sores or pus between gums and teeth
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Changes to denture fit
- Pain while chewing food that does not go away
How do Dentists Treat Gum Disease?
The first thing Dr. Tu will do is perform a deep cleaning, which is also known as scaling and root planing. This is similar to a regular cleaning. However, he will also clean under your gums using special tools. Tartar can easily build up here since it is difficult to reach and clean. Scaling and root planing can sometimes be intensive. Dr. Tu will essentially be scraping away tarter and smoothing out the root surfaces to discourage future bacterial buildup. The goal is to remove all signs of tarter and bacteria. If left untreated, this buildup can lead to serious bacterial infections.
Dr. Tu may also prescribe antibiotics to treat your gum disease. This medication will prevent the bacteria from multiplying. It is often used in combination with a deep cleaning to be sure all bacteria are removed from beneath the gums.
Finally, our staff will discuss your at-home oral health care routine. Our goal is to educate you on how to properly care for your teeth and gums so they can heal and remain healthy. This includes:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice a day
- Use a soft bristle tooth brush
- Consider purchasing an electric toothbrush because they are the best at removing particles
- Floss at least once a day
- Use mouthwash at least once a day
Contact our Tiffin, IA area dental office at (319) 284-4361 or request an appointment online for more information about the management of periodontal disease.