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Periodontal Care / Treatment of Gum Disease

Healthy gums are vital to dental health. In fact, due to a strong mouth-to-body connection, they are also vital to general health and well-being. Periodontal, or gum disease, is a progressive, bacterial infection in the mouth that affects the gums and bone that support the teeth. Left untreated it is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, and it is also associated with other diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, osteoporosis, preterm and low birth weight babies, and there is new evidence that there may be a link to Alzheimer’s disease.

Regular (twice a year) dental cleanings and exams at River Valley Dental help to prevent or diagnose the disease in its early stages, when it is most treatable.

Symptoms

With gingivitis, the mildest form of the disease, the gums are red, swollen, and bleed easily. At this stage the disease is easily treatable with professional care and good oral home care.

However, if the disease advances to become periodontitis, pockets, or spaces, can form between the gums and teeth, and the gum tissue can recede exposing more of the teeth and their roots. Eventually teeth can loosen to the point where they have to be removed. Other symptoms can include mouth sores, persistent bad breath, pus between the gums and teeth, and changes in the way the teeth bite together. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to contact our office to seek proper care.

Causes

Gum disease begins with plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on the teeth. Plaque contains bacteria, which causes the gums to become infected and inflamed. Plaque is removed with daily home brushing and flossing, and by our hygienists at your semi-annual cleaning appointments. Other contributing risk factors for gum disease include:

  • Inadequate oral hygiene
  • Smoking/Tobacco Use
  • Genetics
  • Hormonal changes in women during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause
  • Stress
  • Medications
  • Clenching or grinding the teeth
  • Diabetes
  • Poor nutrition

Early Detection, Treatment and Prevention

The key to healthy gums and bone structures is a combination of daily brushing and flossing at home, along with regular maintenance appointments, scheduled at least twice a year, at River Valley Dental. The treatment of Periodontal disease will require more frequent visits with our hygiene department to keep the disease process under control.

During a typical preventive care appointment hygienists scale the teeth to remove any lingering plaque and toxins from the root surfaces. The dentists also perform a thorough examination of the bone and gum tissue supporting the teeth. Digital x-rays also assist with early detection, when the disease is most treatable. It is also important to remember to keep your health history up to date, so the doctors are aware of the medications you take and of other medical conditions that may compromise your periodontal health.

If treatment is needed, such as root planing or the use of antibiotics, the doctors and their team can explain your care options in detail. In advanced forms of periodontal / gum disease we may refer you to a gum specialist, called a periodontist, for your treatment.

Healthy gums and bones are the foundation of dental health. We want you to enjoy your teeth and a healthy body for a lifetime. If you have any concerns or questions about gum disease, or if you want to schedule comprehensive periodontal exams for yourself and your family please call our office.  

River Valley Dental Cosmetic and Family Dentistry

Hastings Historic Bridge




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River Valley Dental P.A.
1260 North Frontage Road
Hastings, MN 55033
ph: 651.437.1940

Map and Directions »
River Valley Dental P.A.
1260 North Frontage Road
Hastings, MN 55033
ph: 651.437.1940
email: info@rivervalleydentalpa.com
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