While most patients know the danger that cavities pose to their teeth, they often don’t consider the important role that gums play in their overall oral health. The truth is that the health of your gums affects the health of your teeth—and perhaps the health of your entire body.

Gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease, is usually treatable with no lasting effects by simply dedicating yourself to good oral hygiene and perhaps making a few lifestyle changes, such as avoiding tobacco and cutting back on sugary foods. More severe gum disease called periodontitis, however, can wreak havoc on your teeth. The bacteria in plaque can cause your gums to recede, pulling away from your teeth as the bacteria destroys the tissue. The bacteria can even erode the bone that supports your teeth, ultimately resulting in the affected teeth falling out.


What is Periodontal therapy?

If you’ve developed gum disease, periodontal therapy in Birmingham is an umbrella term for an array of treatments you may need to undergo. These treatments are an important part of restoring health to your teeth and gums, as well as preventing tooth loss. There are both surgical and non-surgical treatments for gum disease. Your best option will depend upon your individual case, but generally, the least invasive procedures are preferred whenever possible.


What are the signs?

Even advanced stages of periodontal disease are often painless, making it hard for patients to spot. There are signs you can look out for, but it’s incredibly important to go for regular cleanings so that your dentist can keep an eye out for early signs. Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth that you can’t seem to get rid of, and gums that are red, swollen, or bleed when you brush or floss can be signs of gum disease. More serious signs include receding gums, teeth that are loose or have shifted, and the formation of pockets between your teeth and gums. 


How do you prevent it?

The first and most obvious way to prevent periodontal disease is to practice great oral hygiene. You should see your dentist twice a year, floss daily, use mouthwash regularly, and brush your teeth at least twice a day. While you can’t change risk factors like genetics and certain illnesses or medications, you can make other lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of gum disease. For example, you can limit the sugars in your diet, and stay away from tobacco, which makes it harder for the tissues in your mouth to heal.

If you are in need of periodontal therapy in Birmingham, MI, call our office today to schedule a consultation.