Posted by South Austin Dental Associates 2024-02-11

Gum Disease in Austin, TX

Gum disease is one of the most common dental problems people experience and the leading cause of tooth loss. According to the CDC, over 46% of adults over 30 years old show signs of gum disease.

While this number is certainly alarming, there is a silver lining: gum disease can be reversed under certain circumstances. 

Keep reading to find out more!

What Is Gum Disease and How Does It Affect Your Oral Health 

Gum disease is an infection of the gums. If you are not consistent with your oral hygiene, then a sticky film of bacteria builds up at the base of your teeth. This film is called plaque, and over time it can harden into tartar. While plaque can be removed with regular brushing, only a dentist can remove tartar. 

The good news about gum disease is that it progresses in stages. The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis and causes inflammation and redness of the gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a condition that affects the tissues and bones supporting the teeth. Periodontitis can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that become infected. The infection can then spread to the bone and tissues supporting the teeth, leading to tooth loss.

Gum Disease Can Be Reversed

The reason we said it's good that gum disease progresses into stages is that it can be reversed if you start treating it in the early stage - gingivitis. 

You can reverse gingivitis with the help of professional dental cleanings and thorough at-home oral hygiene. That includes brushing and flossing regularly and using an antimicrobial mouthwash. 

If gum disease has progressed to periodontitis, you may not be able to reverse it but need periodontal care instead. Treatment options may include scaling and root planing, a deep cleaning treatment meant to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove infected tissue and repair damage to the bones and gums.

Treatment Options for Gum Disease

The specific treatment plan for gum disease will depend on the severity of the condition and your overall health. In addition to scaling and root planning, treatment options may include:

  • Laser therapy: This non-invasive procedure uses a laser to remove infected tissue and kill bacteria.
  • Gum grafts: If the gums have receded significantly, gum grafts may be necessary to restore gum tissue and protect the roots of the teeth.
  • Bone grafts: If the infection has damaged the bone supporting the teeth, a bone graft may be necessary to rebuild and strengthen the bone.

Dealing with Gum Disease? We Can Help! 

Whether you're in the early stages of gum disease or your condition progressed to periodontitis, we here at South Austin Dental Associates can provide the care you need. 

Booking your appointment is incredibly easy too. Check our contact page and send us a message at your convenience. 

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