Glendora CA dentist monitors for early signs of gum disease to keep your smile healthy, and at its brilliant best
Gum disease is common. The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) reports one out of every two American adults (aged 30 and older) has some form of periodontitis. Of those adults, almost 9 percent have early or mild periodontitis, while 30 percent have moderate periodontitis, and 8.5 percent suffer from advanced/severe periodontitis and significant bone loss. Since periodontal disease is a progressive condition, there are opportunities to intervene and even reverse some of the cosmetic and bacterial damage if it is treated in its earlier stages. Dr. Brianne Luu monitors for early signs of gum disease in the Glendora CA area during routine visits at the Gentle Care Dentistry office. Identifying problems early results in proactive treatment, which prevents the disease from progressing to the point that damage is irreversible, and teeth are lost.
About early-stage gum disease
Oral health cannot occur without healthy gums. Gum tissue surrounds and supports the teeth. When these tissues are eroded, the health and appearance of your smile suffer.
The first stage of gum disease, which precedes the three stages of periodontitis, is known as gingivitis. It is characterized by:
- Gums that appear a darker pink or redder than usual for you (everyone has a different “baseline”)
- Swollen gums
- Gums that feel tender to the touch
- Blood on your toothbrush or floss
- Persistent bad breath
Gum disease is also “silent” or asymptomatic in its earliest stages. Symptoms can be quite subtle, if noticeable at all. This characteristic of gingivitis makes routine exams at Gentle Care Dentistry all the more important. Dr. Luu is trained and has the tools necessary to spot damage that is lurking underneath the surface, and that would otherwise go undetected without preventive care.
Proactive versus reactive care
Generally, it’s advised that patients visit Gentle Care Dentistry every six months for check-ups and cleanings by our friendly hygienists; however, Dr. Luu may recommend more frequent appointments, and preventive products or measures if you are at increased risk of developing gum disease. Risk factors include:
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Genetic susceptibility; the AAP reports around 50 percent of periodontal disease is inherited
- Pregnancy, as pregnant women are susceptible to “pregnancy gingivitis”
- Advancing age
- Use of medications such as steroids and oral contraceptives
- Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and other systemic diseases
- Poor diet
- Teeth-grinding that stresses supportive tissues
- A high-stress lifestyle, which affects immunity and the body’s ability to ward off infections
If detected and addressed early, gum disease may require little more than modifications to oral hygiene techniques at home.