The month of February is a time to step back and reflect on a part of your body that is often overlooked until there are signs that something is wrong with it. The area we’re referring to is your gum tissue and February is National Gum Disease Awareness Month, so your dentist of Ephrata wants you to take a moment to think about how you can improve the health of this vital part of your overall wellness. He’ll also provide you with information on why your gums are so important as well as ways to keep them functioning at their best.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease (periodontitis) is a condition that is caused by the growth of harmful bacteria and is brought on by neglect of your oral care and hygiene. It progresses in three stages:
- Gingivitis – One of the early signs is bleeding, puffy and red gums. At this point, the damages can still be reversed, so it’s crucial to be seen by your local dentist before they advance.
- Gum Disease (early stage) – The early stages of gum disease can cause bad breath, dry mouth, irritated gums and result in permanent damage to the fibers and bone that hold your teeth in place.
- Advanced Gum Disease – If allowed to progress to this stage, you can expect the disease to attack and dissolve the connective tissue and bone that hold your teeth in place, possibly causing them to fall out.
How to Treat Gum Disease
Your dentist may recommend gum disease therapy of Ephrata to correct your periodontitis, including such treatments as:
- Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique – This is a technique used to restore gum tissue that has been lost during recession, allowing for a more secure fit around your teeth.
- Scaling – This process removes the harmful plaque and tartar that gather below the gum line.
- Root Planing – One way to prevent future buildup of tartar and plaque is to smooth the tooth roots.
- Antibiotic Therapy – Since the prime cause of gum disease is bacteria, your dentist may place topical antibiotics below the gum line to reduce the number of harmful agents present and limit the production of plaque.
- Customized At-Home Care Plan – Your dentist will also provide you with the tools necessary to help yourself when you’re at home, including professional grade products and a strict hygiene regimen to follow.
More Frequent Visits
If you’re suffering from gum disease, it’s a must that you visit your dentist more than the usual semi-annual schedule. This will allow him to take X-Ray images to monitor the health of your underlying bone and gauge your progress.
Together, the two of you can mount an attack against the bacteria that led to this issue and give your gums the attention and care that they truly deserve. Now that’s a great way to govern yourself in National Gum Disease Awareness Month!
About the Author
Dr. Sean Moriarty received his undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University and then went on to earn his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University. He practices at Ephrata Family Dentistry and can be reached for more information through his website.