If you need a cosmetic fix to your smile because of teeth that are gapped, crooked, discolored, chipped, or cracked, porcelain veneers might be just the upgrade you’re looking for. Find out more here.
The importance of brushing and flossing and coming to see us for regular dental checkups is something you’ve learned practically from the time you’ve had teeth. In fact for many of us, brushing our teeth all by ourselves was probably one of our first rites of passage as children.
But so much of what we know about good oral health seems to be focused on keeping our teeth clean and preventing tooth decay. Although vigilant at-home oral care and routine professional teeth cleanings are important, they’re just part of the big picture when it comes to your oral health. Having healthy gums is critical, too.
Our dentists at Silicon Valley Dental Associates, -- Dr. Colin Au, Dr. Dianna Fung, and periodontist, Dr. Scott Dault -- want to fill in the blanks about the role that healthy gums play in your dental health. They want you to know that stopping gum disease in its tracks through early intervention can make all the difference in your health.
If you’ve ever noticed bleeding gums when brushing or flossing your teeth, you’re experiencing one of the most common symptoms of gum disease. And you aren’t alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 65 million Americans (about half of all adults 30 and older) suffer from advanced gum disease known as periodontitis.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a progressive condition that occurs when there’s a buildup of plaque along the gum line. Plaque contains toxins and harmful bacteria. If it’s not removed by brushing and flossing, it continues to cause inflammation and degradation, damaging your gums’ ability to keep a firm grip around your teeth.
The good news is that even if you have a mild case of gum disease called gingivitis, there are plenty of things you can do to reverse the damage and keep the condition from progressing. Keeping your regular dentist appointments is one important step.
During a professional teeth cleaning, your hygienist removes the plaque buildup you can’t get to with regular brushing and flossing at home. Plus part of the basic dental exam is an assessment of the health of your gums. This is where we can intervene early and provide treatment to prevent your gingivitis from progressing.
Think back on your last dental exam. Remember when the dentist called out numbers ranging from one to five? Through this exam, your dentist measures the pocket between your gum and teeth. The numbers correlate to how tight of a grip your gums have on your teeth. The lower the number, the better.
If you start to record higher numbers, you and your dentist can discuss ways to ward off gum disease to prevent permanent damage like tooth loss.
The ultimate goal is to stop gum disease in the gingivitis stage before it gets to stage two, called periodontitis, or stage three, which is advanced periodontitis. During the later stages of gum disease, most damage is irreversible. Likely outcomes include tooth loss and shifting teeth, which throws off your ability to bite and chew properly.
At Silicon Valley Dental Associates, we provide a variety of gum disease treatment options, including LANAP®, which is our Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure. This treatment is ideal for moderate or severe cases of gum disease.
LANAP enables us to remove infected tissue and hardened plaque from the roots of your teeth in a less invasive manner than traditional gum disease surgery. Think of it like a healthy gum reset without the anesthesia or extended downtime.
If you think you have gum disease and want to learn more, make an appointment for a consultation at our office in Sunnyvale, California. Book an appointment online or call our office today.
You Might Also Enjoy...
You hear all the time that you’re supposed to visit the dentist every six months to have your teeth cleaned. Find out if that’s really necessary and what to expect when you do visit the dentist.
If you need a dental implant to replace a tooth in your upper mouth but don’t have enough jawbone to hold the implant, a sinus lift can help give you the bone structure you need.
You know you should floss, but it’s hard to make it part of your routine. Here are three big reasons to finally get serious about flossing.
You may not realize it, but sugar is likely causing damage to your teeth. Here’s why it happens and what you can do about keeping your teeth strong and healthy.
If you’re frustrated with flaws in your smile, learn more about what a complete smile makeover could do for you. Your treatment plan can address many common dental issues. Here’s what you should know about getting a smile makeover.