How Can a Dentist Treat Gum Disease?

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At Bay City Dental Center, our team performs preventive care by assessing your oral health and providing treatment. Although keeping your teeth clean and healthy is essential, maintaining healthy gums is equally as important to deter oral diseases, tooth decay, and tooth loss. Dr. Matthew Ward serves patients near Bay City, MI, Saginaw, MI, and Midland, MI to help meet their dental needs.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease refers to infection and inflammation of the gums, which surrounds the teeth. Gum disease starts in its earliest stages as gingivitis and can progress into an advanced infection called periodontal disease. At Bay City Dental Center, Dr. Ward is equipped with the knowledge and resources to help patients identify symptoms of gum disease so that they can seek appropriate treatment early.

Common symptoms of gum disease

During the initial stages of gum disease, some individuals may not notice any symptoms. However, common symptoms of gum disease can include:

  • Redness or swelling of the gums

  • Bleeding of the gums when flossing

  • Painful or itchy gums

  • Receding gumline that exposes the root of the tooth

  • Loosening or shifting teeth

What causes gum disease?

There are numerous causes of gum disease, including:

  • Genetics

  • Smoking or tobacco use

  • Poor dental hygiene habits

  • Hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy

  • Nutritional deficiencies

  • Certain prescription medications

  • Lifestyle choices and diet

One of the most well-known causes for gum disease is plaque buildup around the teeth or a thick film of bacteria. Without regular dental hygiene routines, plaque can cause tooth decay and break down the surrounding soft tissue.

Can gum disease be reversed?

The good news is that gingivitis can be reversed with routine brushing and flossing. If gingivitis progresses into periodontal disease, the symptoms are no longer curable. However, oral damage from advanced gum disease can be slowed down with dental and endodontic interventions.

How can a dentist treat gum disease?

At Bay City Dental Center, Dr. Ward will perform a thorough examination of your teeth and gums to get a clearer picture of your oral health. If you are diagnosed with gum disease, then Dr. Ward will provide available treatment options based on the severity of your case. The treatments may include:

  • A professional dental cleaning to remove plaque buildup

  • Scaling and root planing

  • Gum grafting

Consult with Dr. Ward about your customized treatment plan and what to expect in reducing symptoms of gum disease.

What could happen if gum disease is left untreated?

If gum disease is left untreated, symptoms can worsen and cause permanent damage to the teeth, gums, and jawbone. Advanced periodontal disease can lead to:

  • Abscesses of the gums

  • Tooth loss

  • Breakdown of the jawbone

  • Infections that can access the bloodstream and affect the rest of the body

How to maintain your gum health at home

Although not all cases of gum disease can be prevented, many individuals can proactively take steps to minimize their risk of developing symptoms. Consider adopting the following tips for home use:

  • Brush and floss your teeth twice daily

  • Regularly use mouthwash to remove bacteria

  • Avoid sugary foods and drinks

  • Avoid smoking and tobacco use

  • Avoid hard or chewy foods that can damage your teeth and gums

  • Attend routine dental check-ups and professional dental cleanings

Learn more about treatments for gum disease in Bay City, MI

If you reside in or near Bay City, Saginaw, or Midland, MI, and would like to learn more about how our team can help you prevent gum disease, contact us at Bay City Dental Center and schedule an appointment today. Dr. Matthew Ward will work with you and your family to provide quality preventive dental care to keep your smiles healthy and strong.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.