Periodontal Therapy in Belchertown
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a quiet troublemaker. As gum disease begins, the symptoms may be unnoticeable, leading people to believe that their oral health is good. But considering the fact that the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that some 80 percent of American adults have some degree of gum disease, many people’s oral health is not as good as they think. At Valley Dentists of Belchertown, Dr. Mark D. Medaugh and his team provide diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease in order to help patients enjoy genuinely good oral health.
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is a chronic infection caused by the bacteria that live naturally in our mouths. Specifically, this bacteria hides and multiplies in plaque, that sticky biofilm that develops in the mouth all day, every day. Daily brushing and flossing help to clean away plaque. If not removed, however, plaque becomes tartar, a hard substance that is difficult to remove. In tartar, bacteria have a home in which to multiply and produce the toxins that lead to gum disease.
Gum disease begins as gingivitis, which is marked by red or swollen gum tissue that may bleed during brushing and flossing, or when you eat hard foods. As periodontal infection progresses and becomes periodontitis, symptoms include:
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Pocket formation between teeth and gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
Ultimately, as gum and bone tissue continue to deteriorate, gum disease can lead to tooth loss. In fact, this infection is the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults. Furthermore, the bacteria that cause gum disease have been linked to general health concerns, including stroke, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, dementia and pregnancy complications. Thus, treating gum disease as early as possible is imperative.
Gum Disease Treatment Belchertown Resident Rely On
In order to catch gum disease as early as possible, we probe and chart patients annually at a dental checkup. Probing involves measuring the depth of gum pockets; a pocket depth of four millimeters or more is indicative of gum disease. To treat gum disease, one of our dental hygienists performs scaling and root planing. During scaling, plaque and tartar are removed from above and below the gum line of your teeth. Root scaling smooths root surfaces, so plaque and tartar are less likely to adhere and accumulate again. If necessary, we’ll apply the antibiotic Arestin® to kill bacteria and help your gums heal.
After Gum Disease Treatment
After treatment, you’ll want to maintain a vigilant at-home oral health routine. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day. Flossing is particularly important in preventing plaque buildup between your teeth.
Schedule Your Appointment
For gum disease therapy, Belchertown turns to Dr. Medaugh and his staff for regular checkups. Call Valley Dentists of Belchertown today. We would be happy to assist you with scheduling an appointment for a dental exam and cleaning. Our office is conveniently located in Belchertown and serves patients from Belchertown, Ware, Granby, Ludlow, Warren, Hardwick, Gilbertville, Hadley, Amherst, Palmer and all surrounding communities.