Thursday, February 20, 2020

Dangers of Gum Disease

If you brush regularly, you may think that you are not at risk for gum disease. That is a common misconception. A condition once associated with aging or poor oral hygiene, gum disease is now known to have numerous contributing factors. Because gum disease begins simply, with bleeding gums, it is easy to overlook. It is important to assess whether you are in danger of developing gum disease in Lafayette, LA, and take the necessary steps to protect your smile.

Risk Factors for Gum Disease

  • Medication: Any prescription medication that causes dry mouth can reduce the saliva needed to rinse your teeth and gums of bacteria and food particles. Make sure your periodontist knows which medications and supplements you are taking.
  • Hormones: Changes in hormone levels, similar to those in menopause, puberty, and pregnancy, can cause bleeding gums and increased inflammation.
  • Smoking: Any tobacco use, even smokeless, will contribute to the development of gum disease.
  • Genetics: If your mother and father had periodontal disease, you are more prone to having it, too.
  • Diabetes: Higher blood sugar levels coupled with a lowered ability to fight infections leaves diabetics with a much higher risk of gum disease.
  • Flossing: You must take two minutes to floss every day. Brushing and gargling mouthwash will not be enough to keep your teeth free from gum disease in Lafayette, LA.

Be sure to learn the warning signs, which include bleeding or swollen gums, receding gums, bad breath, loose teeth, wide periodontal pockets, and bone loss. When detected early, treatment can be as simple as antibiotic therapy or deep cleanings. Call our office to schedule a consultation with our periodontist, Dr. James M. Finley, if you believe that you have gum disease. He provides laser gum surgery, a minimally invasive alternative to traditional treatment that uses gentle dental lasers to clear away disease without harming any healthy tissue or bone. With laser gum disease treatment, you will feel virtually no pain, experience very little swelling or bleeding, and get back to normal activities within days!

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