Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is a serious condition that affects the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. It is caused by bacterial infections that attack the soft tissues and bones that hold the teeth in place. If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause tooth loss and other serious health complications. Fortunately, there are effective treatments available for periodontal disease, and seeking treatment is crucial for maintaining good oral and overall health.

Gum disease is a progressive condition that can be divided into several stages. The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis, which is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. If you experience bleeding gums while brushing your teeth, you should see a dentist asap. No amount of bleeding is considered normal; the blood indicates a serious problem is brewing. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, which involves the destruction of the bone and soft tissues that support the teeth. Advanced periodontitis is the most severe form of gum disease and can cause tooth loss and other serious health complications.

There are several risk factors for gum disease, including poor oral hygiene, smoking, genetics, diabetes, and certain medications. People with gum disease are also more likely to experience other health issues like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, and Alzheimer's disease.

woman showing red gum

Research has shown that there is a link between gum disease and cardiovascular disease. Bacteria that cause gum disease can enter the bloodstream and travel to the heart, causing inflammation and other damage. This can increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular problems. In addition, people with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease, and gum disease can make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels.

Alzheimer's disease is another health issue that may be linked to gum disease. Recent studies have found that people with gum disease may be more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, and the bacteria associated with gum disease have been found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

As you can see, treating gum disease is important not only for maintaining good oral health but also for reducing the risk of other health complications. Periodontal treatment aims to remove bacterial infection and promote the healing of the gums and supporting structures. Treatment options vary depending on the stage of gum disease.

In the earliest stages of gum disease, treatment may involve professional dental cleanings and improved oral hygiene practices at home. Detected by your dentist at this stage, the increase in professional and home oral hygiene can help to remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums and prevent further damage. Regularly scheduled dental appointments are one of the best defenses for detecting and treating gum disease when it is still reversible.

woman getting teeth and gums examined

More intensive treatments are necessary for more advanced stages of gum disease. Scaling and root planing is a common treatment for periodontitis, which involves deep cleaning of the teeth and gums to remove plaque and tartar buildup. In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to help control the bacterial infection. Surgical intervention may be necessary if gum disease has caused significant damage to the gums and supporting structures. Procedures such as gum grafts, bone grafts, and guided tissue regeneration can help to repair and rebuild the damaged tissues. If you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease, such as red, swollen, or bleeding gums, bad breath, or loose teeth, it is essential to seek treatment as soon as possible. Dr. Brenda Evans Louka is a general dentist who treats gum disease and other oral health issues. She offers a wide range of services, including scaling and root planing, gum grafts, and implant dentistry. Dr. Brenda Evans Louka is committed to providing high-quality, compassionate care to her patients in El Cajon, CA, and the surrounding areas. She uses the latest techniques and technologies to ensure the best possible outcomes for her patients. She also provides personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient's individual needs and preferences. In addition to treating gum disease, Dr. Evans Louka offers various other services to help her patients maintain good oral health, including preventive care, cosmetic dentistry, and restorative dentistry.

Call our office today, we look forward to being your partner in good oral health!

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