At the Center for Advanced Dentistry, Dr. White can provide a gum tissue management program to control the damage and progression of serious gum disease. In some cases, this can eliminate the need for invasive treatments like root scaling and planing or periodontal surgery. Patients must follow the program for at least six months to see results and improvement.
Understanding Periodontal Disease
Gum disease, or periodontitis, is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. The Centers for Disease Control report that more than half of Americans age 30 and above suffer from periodontitis, which is caused when oral bacteria infect below the gum line. This chronic infection can have serious systemic impact, contributing to your risk of heart disease, kidney disease, autoimmune disorders, even cancer.
Minor cases of periodontitis are known as gingivitis. It is a chronic inflammatory disease that may never progress to more serious forms. But once your gums become seriously infected, what is known as periodontitis, the infection is not only more serious, but so is your immune response. Your body enters what might be described as a “scorched earth” campaign to destroy infection, destroying your own gums, bone, and other tissues as well as the infection.
That is why it is vital to prevent gum disease from developing to that stage.
Identifying and Treating Gum Disease
Three signs of gingivitis that can lead to devastating periodontitis include:
- Red, swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Chronic bad breath
At its most severe, periodontitis will cause the gums to pull away from the teeth and supporting tissue.
Lifestyle choices and genetics also can severely impact a patient’s chances of developing periodontitis. Some of the risk factors behind gum disease include:
- Lack of adequate housing or home care
- Lack of nutrition
- Prescription medications
In addition to undermining a person’s ability to smile or even eat and speak comfortably, periodontitis also has been linked to other serious medical concerns including heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
The American Dental Association has outlined Five Key Steps to preventing the spread of gum disease:
Gum Disease Prevention Tip No. 1: Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.
Gum Disease Prevention Tip No. 2: Floss or use another between-tooth cleaner each day.
Gum Disease Prevention Tip No. 3: Ask your dentist about using a germ-fighting mouthrinse.
Gum Disease Prevention Tip No. 4: Limit snacks and sugary, acidic foods.
Gum Disease Prevention Tip No. 5: Visit your dentist regularly.
Dr. White can complement your dental care regimen with the following procedures:
- Fluoride treatments
- Sealants to prevent the spread of disease
- Homeopathic treatment and therapies
- Nutritional support
If you are in Nashville and are looking for a general and cosmetic dentist with advanced training in neuromuscular science to provide periodontal therapy, please contact the Center for Advanced Dentistry online or call (615) 383-6787 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Kent White.