The importance of prevention and treatment of gum disease

The vast majority (up to 80%) of the population has gum disease, to some degree, and are not aware of it. This could be putting their oral and overall health at risk.

Gum disease includes a bacterial infection that surrounds either one or more teeth. While gum disease can cause little to no discomfort and can produces few obvious symptoms in its early stages, it can quickly get to a point where it causes significant problems for your oral health as well as your health in general. Gum disease has been linked to other diseases as well. Beyond compromising the health of your gums, teeth and bone, and it can also lead to stroke, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, as well as complications in pregnancy, problems with (or cause) diabetes — even increase your risk of certain cancers.

If you have or suspect you have gum disease in St. Louis, please call (314) 678-7876 (Downtown St. Louis) or (314) 678-7876 (Clayton) today for an appointment with Dr. Chris Hill at our office in downtown or Clayton.

Dangers of Gum Disease

Gum disease infects the gums around your teeth. As the infection progresses, it will damage the gums and the bones that support your teeth. Your teeth will become loose, may drift, and can even fall out. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults.

But the dangers of gum disease don’t stop in your mouth. As a chronic infection, gum disease threatens your overall health in many ways. Bacteria may spread through your body, infecting your heart or lungs. It can also contribute to arterial plaque.

Gum disease creates a state of chronic inflammation in the body. This can contribute to your risk of cancer and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.

Finally, some gum disease bacteria subvert or disable your immune system. Some of them can keep your body from recognizing and attacking small tumors, increasing the risk that these will grow.

Are You at Risk for Gum Disease?

Gum disease risk factors include: tobacco use, hormonal problems, certain medications, teeth grinding, stress, nutritional deficiencies, immune system problems, and poor oral hygiene. You could also be predisposed due to heredity. Good oral hygiene alone may not be enough. It’s important to periodically assess gum health so that gum disease can be caught early and dealt with.

Prevention is the best cure for gum disease but the only way to know for sure whether or not your gums are contributing to poor health is to have regular (2 times yearly) assessments by a qualified dentist.

Treating Gum Disease in St. Louis

At City Smiles, St Louis, Dr. Chris Hill and his team are well-versed in identifying gum disease at varying stages as well as providing you with customized treatment options. If caught and treated early enough, periodontal problems may be reversible without surgery.

Generally, periodontal treatments for early stage gum disease includes recommendations for a better oral hygiene care as well as professional scaling and root planing as well as medication plus irrigation of gum pockets. Immediate improvement is often experienced but where symptoms and gum condition doesn’t improve significantly, we may recommend more aggressive and surgical treatments to halt periodontal disease. Here at St. Louis Smiles, we offer a variety of treatment options and leverage advanced dental technology, including the DIAGNOdent laser, which offers exceptional, yet minimally invasive, results.

Surgical Treatments for Periodontal Disease

When gum disease is not dealt with swiftly, patients may need surgery. Here at St. Louis Smiles, we offer several options for those with advanced gum disease and when necessary, can refer you to a specialist.

Have questions about gum disease and available periodontal treatment options? Please contact City Smiles at (314) 678-7876 (Downtown St. Louis) or (314) 678-7876 (Clayton) for a consultation. Taking good care of your gums will not only help you keep your teeth healthy but will help you lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, and other systemic diseases that are connected to periodontal disease.