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Gum Disease and Tooth Loss ,
Healthy Teeth and Gums

Gingivitis is a simple condition to treat when it is caught in its earliest stages. Signs of gum disease are bright red, puffy or swollen gums. You may experience bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth. These symptoms should send you to your dentist or dental hygienist for treatment.

Treatment for gingivitis is a matter of thoroughly cleaning the teeth with special instruments. Scalers are used to remove the buildup of tartar, the hard accumulations between the teeth and gums. After the plaque and tartar are completely removed, planers are used to plane the roots and smooth them so the gums can reattach. Your dentist or hygienist may prescribe special toothpaste and/or mouthwash to help the healing process. Depending on the severity of the condition, you may need to return for follow up treatments. Severe gum disease requires more extensive treatment.


When gingivitis is neglected, it develops into a more severe condition called periodontitis. Periodontitis is the main cause of tooth loss in older adults. What begins as a treatable condition – gingivitis – soon turns into a serious infection damaging the gums and the bone.

In addition to destroying your gums and dissolving the bone around your teeth, periodontitis can also affect your general health and well-being. Infected gums have been associated with serious health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.

As the disease progresses, toxins produced by the bacteria dissolve the bone, causing the teeth to become loose in their sockets. Before long, the teeth begin to fall out because the bone no longer supports them. The infection also causes gum tissue to degrade to the point where it must be removed.

Treatment For Periodontitis

In the case of periodontitis, not only do the teeth need to be cleaned thoroughly, the infection must be brought under control. This may be done through oral antibiotics, or antibiotics may be placed under the gums to fight the infection directly. Necrotic gum tissue must be removed also. A special dressing material is sometimes put over affected gums to protect the gums while they heal from the disease.

Thoroughly cleaning the teeth may take more than one visit. Tartar buildup needs to be removed from each tooth involved. Often the buildup is so excessive, that it needs to be accomplished in sections. If necessary, some teeth that are extremely unstable may need to be extracted.

Ideally, gum disease is caught before it reaches a severe stage of development. This is why regular dental checkups are so important. If you experience any of the symptoms of gum disease, contact Mint Dental and make and appointment. Early diagnosis and treatment can keep you from losing your teeth.

Posted on behalf of Mint Dental



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Antoinette Liles, DMD and her dental assistant performing dental treatment.
Antoinette Liles, DMD and her dental assistant performing pediatric dental treatment.
Happy National Dentist Day. Antoinette Liles, DMD performing dental checkup.
Antoinette Liles, DMD in the treatment room.
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