Healthy gums are the foundation for a healthy mouth. Philadelphia dentist Dr. Pamela G. Doray spends considerable amount of time with her patients educating them on the importance of periodontal health and how it impacts the overall health of the body.
Gum disease is one of the most common diseases among Americans, affecting as many as 3 out of every 4 adults. Numerous studies have established a link between gum disease and chronic diseases like diabetes, stroke and heart disease. In addition, gum disease increases risks for pregnant women such as premature birth and low birth weight.
Dr. Doray offers a strong periodontal health program that includes prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease. As a cosmetic dentist, Dr. Doray can also address cosmetic gum concerns such as a gummy smile which causes teeth to look short or asymmetrical in appearance.
Causes & Symptoms of Gum Disease
One of the leading causes of gum disease is a build up of plaque, a sticky substance that is constantly forming in the mouth. Plaque around the gum line and between teeth can be difficult to remove. Over time, plaque hardens and turns into tartar which can irritate the gums and lead to an infection resulting in damage to gum tissue and the underlying bone.
There are many contributing factors to gum disease. Patients with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and pregnancy are more vulnerable to gum disease. Other contributing factors may include teeth grinding, tobacco use, and poor nutrition.
Common signs of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen or sore gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Mouth sores or cuts in the gum
- Bad breath
How To Prevent Gum Disease
As with most chronic conditions, prevention is the best defense for gum disease. Your visits with Dr. Doray will include a periodontal screening to check for signs of gum disease. In addition to professional care, you should have a healthy at-home health care routine that includes brushing and flossing after meals, a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight.
Gum Disease Treatment
Depending on your gum disease symptoms, Dr. Doray may offer several treatment options. Patients with early signs of gum disease like gingivitis will benefit from a professional cleaning and oral hygiene instruction. Patients with more serious gum disease may benefit from an intensive teeth cleaning known as scaling and root planning. During this procedure, plaque and tartar are removed from the deep pockets of the gum, usually with dental anesthetic to make the procedure more comfortable.
Patients who have advanced gum disease or periodontitis may require surgery and more advanced treatment such as bone grafting, gum grafting or other procedures. In all cases, the earlier the problem is diagnosed and treated, the more predictable and successful will be the result.
Remember, don’t ignore your teeth or they will go away!