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How Can a Family Dentist Treat Gum Disease
Many oral health problems may cause long-lasting damage, and one of the most troublesome issues is gum disease. This condition, which is typically caused by infrequent or incorrect brushing and flossing, chronic illnesses and certain lifestyle choices, can cause pain, swelling and eventual tooth loss. Inflammation of the gums, or gingivitis, can strike almost anyone, and seeking an immediate evaluation from a family dentist can mean the difference between recovery and major tooth damage or oral infections.
The causes of gum infections
Persons who maintain an inconsistent oral health care routine or do not brush often enough may be putting themselves at risk for the development of gum problems. If the gum line is neglected, tartar buildup may begin there and over time, it can harden and contribute to a variety of oral issues:
- Receding gums
- Consistent bad breath
Individuals who suffer from chronic health issues, such as digestive disorders or type 2 diabetes, may also exhibit gum disease. Those who suffer from depression or anxiety may have inconsistent hygiene habits that can contribute to gum infections or sores. People who begin to experience daily gum pain because of any of these reasons should seek help from a dental professional as soon as possible.
Where to find treatment
Those who struggle with gum disease usually get in touch with their family dentist for assistance. After evaluating the extent of the disorder, the dentist will either draw up a treatment plan for the gums or refer the patient to a specialist.
Contact the family dentist
This oral health professional can gauge the degree of the gum problems and begin treatment with a deep cleaning to help remove tartar at the gum line and reduce swelling and discomfort. Once the cleaning is complete, the family dentist may ask a few questions about brushing and flossing habits to form an effective treatment plan. Such questions typically include how often bleeding occurs, what pain levels are being experienced and whether any unexpected tooth loss has occurred. If the infection or swelling is considerable, the family dentist may refer patients to a periodontist, an oral professional who treats gum issues in persons of all ages.
What to expect during possible referrals
Individuals who are referred to another dentist often wonder what will occur during the initial appointment. Upon arrival, patients typically go through a dental checkup that includes a focus on gum health. Any swelling or redness is noted and X-rays may be taken if the periodontist believes gum problems have affected the teeth. Patients are asked about their brushing and flossing habits and questioned about any medications that could contribute to oral issues. Once the severity of the problem is pinpointed, treatment options are discussed, including medication, surgery and gum grafting if the infection has caused receding gums.
Gum disease can cause long-term oral health problems, including tooth loss or the increased spread of bacteria into the body via swallowing. A family dentist can identify and often treat gum issues, but individuals who exhibit advanced gum disease may be referred to a specialist for recovery and extended care.
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