Periodontal disease is the dental term for bacteria that have infected the gums in the mouth. Periodontal disease and gum disease are used interchangeably. In turn, the infection triggers an immune response from the body’s natural defenses and inflammation (swelling) occurs. Periodontal disease can come in many forms ranging from minor and easily treatable to long-term periodontal disease that involves visible swelling and possible pain.
Here is an overview of what gum disease is, what causes it, how to treat it at SPA Dental Services Downtown Austin, and whether it is contagious. Consider giving Austin Preventative Dentistry and Austin Cosmetic Dentistry the chance to treat your dental issues.
Bacteria exist in everyone’s mouth. While getting rid of all these bacteria is undesirable and impossible, what you want to do as a good steward of your teeth is to keep your mouth as clean as possible. The bacteria, over time, leave a film on top of teeth called plaque that serves as a breeding ground for them. Holding the bacteria in check means regularly brushing and flossing away this film to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Smoking contributes to gum disease as well. Smokers have much higher rates of gum disease and respond less well to treatment. Long-term smokers are at the highest risk of gum disease. Smokeless tobacco, sometimes called “chew” or “dip”, is also extremely detrimental to the gums. People with diabetes are also at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease.
Our expert dentists at the Toothbar of SPA Dental Services Downtown Austin will evaluate your mouth for gum disease and make the appropriate decision for treatment moving forward.
All periodontal disease is treatable. In minor cases, thorough cleaning by the Toothbar dentists combined with good dental practices at home like regular brushing and flossing can eliminate the problem and allow the affected gums to heal.
More advanced or complicated cases are often transferred to specialists who have extensive training in treating periodontal disease specifically called a periodontist. In some cases, a bone and/or gum graft may be required, which involves the removal of gum tissue or one from another location in the mouth and transplanting it to the affected area to replace lost tissue or bone. Fortunately, when periodontitis is caught early, it can be treated more easily and effectively without the need for more extensive treatment like bone or gum graft.
If you require treatment for gum disease, allow our friendly and professional Toothbar dentists to consult with you about your options.
The answer to whether gum disease is contagious is complicated. Most medical associations have historically regarded gum disease as noncontagious because it is difficult to spread the bacteria from the mouth. However, the saliva that contains these bacteria in a person with gum disease can actually be spread to friends and family who are in close proximity to the person and who, for example, share dishes.
If you or a loved one thinks you might have gum disease or you just haven’t scheduled an appointment in longer than six months, give our Toothbar staff at Austin Preventative Dentistry and Austin Cosmetic Dentistry a call. We’ll set up a time for you to come in and allow us to begin treating any dental issues you might have in a friendly, clean, professional environment.
Would you like to get more information, contact us at The Toothbar today.
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