Gum disease is a common problem that affects more than 47% of Americans aged 30 and older. At Russell Family Dentistry in Tomball, Texas, Louis Russell Jr., DDS, diagnoses and treats gum disease using safe and effective methods. If you’re concerned that you have gum disease, schedule an appointment. Book a consultation online or call the office to speak with a caring staff member today.
Gum disease is a blanket term that describes a group of potentially serious infections that affect your gum tissue. When left untreated, gum disease can cause your gums to recede, increasing your risk of loose teeth, persistent bad breath, and ultimately, tooth loss.
There are many types of gum disease, but some of the most common include:
Gingivitis occurs due to a bacterial infection. It’s possible to reverse this mild form of gum disease. Gingivitis doesn’t always present obvious symptoms. However, as the condition progresses, you might notice that your gums bleed whenever you brush or floss.
Periodontitis is a more serious form of gum disease that occurs when gingivitis remains untreated. Over time, periodontitis destroys the hard tissues that support your teeth, negatively affecting the integrity of your jaw and alveolar bone.
Early on, gum disease rarely presents obvious symptoms. As the infection spreads, telltale signs include:
You might also notice that your teeth don’t fit together like they used to.
To diagnose gum disease, Dr. Russell asks about your symptoms and lifestyle, reviews your oral health history, and conducts an oral exam. He may order X-rays to get a closer look at your tooth roots, jaw, and alveolar bone.
Most instances of gum disease are visible to the naked eye. After determining the severity of your condition, Dr. Russell develops a treatment plan to stop the infection and prevent further damage.
Your gum disease treatment depends on the severity of your infection and the intensity of your symptoms. If you have gingivitis, Dr. Russell might recommend healthy lifestyle changes like eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, and brushing and flossing regularly.
If you have a serious case of gum disease, Dr. Russell might recommend scaling and root planing. During scaling and root planing, Dr. Russell uses a handheld tool called a scaler to remove plaque and tartar from beneath your gum line and the surfaces of your teeth.
After scaling your teeth, he smooths your tooth roots. This allows your gums to reattach to your teeth, stopping the recession.
If you’re worried about your risk of gum disease, schedule a consultation at Russell Family Dentistry. Book an appointment online, or call the office to speak with a caring team member today.