The flu has been absolutely atrocious this year. Florida has been hit very hard, and we are all just hoping for this season to pass quickly! We know that once warmer weather comes back around, we can all take a sigh of relief from this epidemic and get back to enjoying our beautiful Florida sunshine!
That’s the good thing about flu season; it is a season. There is another epidemic that is affecting our patients year round, and we hope it isn’t affecting you! That epidemic is caused by bacteria and plaque in your mouth. It is gum disease, or what begins as gingivitis, and it runs rampant here in Orlando, FL.
While about 85% of people will develop gum disease at some point, very few of the population actually know what gum disease is, what the symptoms are, or how to treat it!
Here’s the secret: if you want to beat gum disease, you have to know what gum disease actually is, and that’s where we step in!
Today, we want to take some time to make sure you know what you’re up against, and why it’s so important to treat gum disease quickly!
What Gum Disease Looks Like
Unfortunately for many of our patients, they don’t know they have gum disease until it is too late to treat it easily. That’s because early infections, like gingivitis, are only visible to trained dental workers, like our staff.
When you come in for an appointment, we will see the infection. Otherwise, you will have to wait until you notice a problem. By then, the damage has already begun, and your bone is being affected.
You will notice bleeding, tender, or swollen gums. You might notice that the color of your gums is more red than a healthy pink. If you’ve had gum disease for a while, you might notice that your teeth feel loose or shift when you chew.
How It is Treated
As we said, most patients don’t catch gum disease as early as they could. If gum disease is caught early, it is very easily treated, and we can discuss future prevention. If gum disease is not caught early (which is the case most of the time), we have to take more extreme measures.
Routine six month appointments are the best way to catch and treat gum disease before it gets out of hand. If we notice signs of an infection, we are able to clear the infection during your cleaning appointment. It is simply a matter of removing the plaque and bacteria that is building under your gumline.
We will also take a few moments to discuss preventive care at home. Brushing is important, but you should also be using floss, and we might recommend an antiseptic mouthrinse to remove additional bacteria from your mouth.
In those situations where gum disease has progressed beyond the work of a gentle cleaning, we will need to recommend more strenuous treatment to treat the deep infection. In most other offices, that treatment would be deep cleaning with metal instruments or pocket reduction surgery.
We can treat your advanced gum disease with an instrument called LANAP. This is a laser therapy treatment that requires no stitches, no discomfort, and a very quick healing time! The treatment is extremely effective because the laser is able to remove the infection completely!
The best part is that you are comfortable throughout the entire process. There’s nothing to fear from this procedure!
The Long Term Effects of Gum Disease
Yes, you can have gum disease treatment that is completely comfortable and gentle, but the real danger from gum disease has nothing to do with the removal process. The real danger is in the way gum disease can affect your entire health.
Gum disease bacteria has a way of making it to other parts of your body and wreaking absolute havoc. Gum disease is linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer (of various types), Alzheimer’s disease, preterm labor, low birth weight babies, etc. The list could go on and on.
We don’t fully understand all of the connections between gum disease and systemic health, but we see the connections through study after study after study. The link is there, and the only way to prevent those long term effects is to avoid gum disease.
Begin With an Appointment
Begin today by calling our office to set up an appointment for a cleaning and exam. We would love to see you soon and help you avoid gum disease altogether by creating a system of oral hygiene that works for you!
Contact us today! We can’t wait to see you have a happier, healthier smile!