When you start thinking about a healthy smile, you probably think about your teeth and not so much about your gums. But gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a serious condition. In fact, the latest research shows that people with gum disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease. Dr. Jeffrey P. Smith is a Saint Charles Dentist who is experienced in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease. Don’t put yourself at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Visit Dr. Smith’s St. Charles office today to have your gums checked.
The first step to determining if you suffer from gum disease is to schedule an appointment with your Saint Charles Dentist. During your appointment, Dr. Smith will take your medical history to determine if you’ve had problems with periodontal disease in the past. The next step is the physical examination. Dr. Smith will look at the gums surrounding the teeth and check to see if there is redness, puffiness or bleeding. He will also use a special probe to measure the pockets of the gums surrounding the teeth. If you are diagnosed with gingivitis – a mild form of periodontal disease – or a more severe case, there are treatments available.
Periodontal Scaling and Root Planning
One of the most affordable and non-invasive treatments for gums infected with gingivitis is periodontal scaling and root planning. This procedure includes the cleaning of the root surfaces to get rid of excess plaque and tartar that have formed in the pockets of the gums. The procedure is typically followed up with an antimicrobial wash. After this procedure, and with diligent home care, it’s possible for the condition to go away. More severe periodontal diseases may require advanced treatments.
Grinding your teeth, also called bruxism, can happen unconsciously when you sleep or when you are awake. Dentists in St. Charles will tell you that grinding teeth or clenching your jaw can lead to jaw issues, severe headaches, and tooth damage. Schedule an appointment with Jeffrey P. Smith DDS and learn how to prevent teeth grinding and its negative effects.
Just like gum disease can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, poor oral health has been linked to other health problems. Mothers with poor oral health have been reported to have greater instances of premature births and babies with lower than normal birth weights. Inflammation in the mouth has also been tied to diabetes, because infection in the mouth weakens the body’s ability to control blood sugar. Dr. Smith can help you give you a healthy mouth, which will also mean a healthier body.