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FAQ: All About Gum Disease

Dentist Fayetteville ARAt Greenway Dental Care, we provide an extensive menu of cosmetic, general, and restorative dentistry services. There is rarely a dental concern that we cannot treat in our Fayetteville, AR dentist’s office. One of the most common dental concerns that we treat in our office is gum disease; however, many patients do not know what gum disease is, why it is caused, and how it is treated. Dr. Keech, your local Fayetteville, AR dentist, answers frequently asked questions about gum disease below:

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis occurs when food residue begins to build up around your soft tissues, causing inflammation. When you brush or floss your teeth, you may notice a small amount of blood in the sink. This is an indication that you have gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease development. Gingivitis can be reversed if you improve your at-home oral hygiene routine, ensuring that you are brushing and flossing twice a day. Attending your biannual dental cleaning will also reverse the effects of gingivitis and prevent your gum disease from progressing further.

What is gum disease?

When the food residue that builds up around your soft tissues is not removed, it begins to harden and turns into plaque and tartar. Plaque and tartar are much more difficult to remove from your dental structures, meaning a professional dental visit is needed to reverse the effects. If you’ve experienced gingivitis and have not seen improvement with your gum health, you likely have gum diseaase. Additional symptoms of advanced gum disease include tender gums, discolored gums, receding gum line, bad breath, and loose teeth. Left untreated, gum disease may also lead to tooth loss. This is why it is so important to contact your Fayetteville, AR dentist if you think that you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of gum disease.

How can gum disease be prevented?

To prevent gum disease, patients must be vigilant in their at-home oral hygiene routines. Going beyond brushing and flossing twice a day by rinsing your mouth out after midday meals and chewing sugar-free gum to reduce the amount of food left behind on your teeth after meals will help reduce your risk of gum disease. Patients should also remember that their biannual dental cleanings are their smiles’ first line of defense from preventing dental concerns like tooth decay or gum disease from occuring in the first place. Our goal is to catch these issues as soon as possible so that we can offer more conservative treatment options.

What are the treatment options for gum disease?

If your gum disease is an advanced case, you will need more than just a standard dental cleaning to restore your smile. Greenway Dental Care offers periodontal therapy solutions to treat advanced cases of gum disease.  Your gum disease treatment options will depend on the severity of your case. A procedure known as scaling and root planing may be necessary to remove bacteria from the deep pockets of your gums. Additionally, oral surgery may be recommended for more severe cases. To find out which treatment option is right for you, please schedule an appointment online with our Fayetteville, AR dentist office.