Gum disease is more common than you might think. At Neal C. Johnson DMD in Billings MT we see patients with gum disease almost every day. It’s a serious matter, because gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss.
Some people aren’t even aware they have it until we see it during a checkup. It’s a treatable condition, although the earlier the diagnosis the better.
Gum disease is an inflammation or infection of the gums. It is usually the result of poor brushing and flossing habits. When you don’t brush and floss on a regular basis, there is a build-up of plaque, which hardens into a substance called tartar. That’s why we recommend our patients brush and floss twice a day. It’s the best way to prevent plaque from building up.
No amount of brushing and flossing will remove tartar from your teeth. It takes a professional cleaning to remove it, which is why we want to see our patients on a regular basis – twice a year, in most cases.
- In addition to poor oral hygiene, risk factors for gum disease include:
- Smoking, which is the most significant
- Certain illnesses, like AIDS, and their medication
- Medication that reduces the flow of saliva
The symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red or swollen gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Painful chewing
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums
The type of treatment for gum disease depends on the extent of the condition. Part of the treatment might include behavioral changes, like giving up smoking. And it is essential that the patient adopts good daily dental care.
Anyone can get gum disease, and the earlier it is detected, the sooner we can begin treatment at Neal C. Johnson DMD in Billings MT. Patients from Lockwood, Billings Heights, and Laurel also come to us for cosmetic dentistry and restorative dentistry. Schedule an appointment today!