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Chances are you’ve never heard of Gum Disease Awareness Month, but it’s an important time for the 1st In Smiles team to raise awareness of periodontal disease. One of the reasons there’s a month dedicated to this is because gum disease often goes unnoticed and therefore undiagnosed. That’s because gum disease symptoms are easy to write off. And some people don’t even have any noticeable symptoms! That’s why it’s so important to visit a reliable Plano, TX dentist like Dr. Barfield to examine you for this common disease at every checkup.

Today, we’ll take a deeper look at gum disease signs and our solutions to nip the problem in the bud. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these, call us right away at 972-380-8105 for a dental exam.

Gum Disease Affects Half of Adults

Yes, you read that correctly. The CDC estimates that about half of all U.S. adults have gum disease. That means at some point, one of out every two adults you know will develop gum disease in their lifetime. There are different levels, from gingivitis (gum inflammation) to severe and chronic periodontitis (gum infection and jawbone deterioration). The sooner we catch it, the greater the chance it’ll do less damage and may even be reversed.

Gum Disease Signs Can Mean More Than Infected Gums

Even if you’ve had gum disease for a while, you may have never had pain. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to the common signs of gum disease so you’ll know when it’s time to visit your dentist. Here are a few:

  • Red gums
  • Bleeding gums, especially after you brush your teeth
  • Tender gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Gums that are pulling away from your teeth
  • Chronic bad taste in your mouth or bad breath
  • Teeth that have become loose
  • A change in your bite (the way your teeth come together)
  • Sensitivity to hold and cold drinks and foods

Even one of these is enough reason to call us, especially if you haven’t had a dental checkup in a while. But don’t worry – our office is only here to help, not judge. So don’t be embarrassed if you’ve neglected your smile or have skipped even years of checkups. Our goal is to get your smile healthy.

Your gums support your teeth, so if your gums are unhealthy, they can’t support your teeth. That’s why tooth loss is a common consequence of advanced gum disease. But there could be more than just your gums and teeth at risk. Though research is ongoing, gum disease has shown links to:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Certain cancers
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Low weights for premature births
  • And more

Get a Thorough Periodontal Evaluation in Plano

Many cases of gum disease are caused by dental neglect, whether poor hygiene at home or staying away from the dentist for a long time. Bacteria builds up, inflames your gums, and eventually can lead to infection. Tobacco can cause or worsen gum disease. Pregnancy can even increase your risk. But many cases have a genetic link, and some have nothing to do with poor dental care.

When you visit us for an exam, our hygienist and Dr. Barfield will take a comprehensive look at your mouth and oral health. They’ll take digital X-rays to see if your bone has been affected. They’ll even measure the size of any “pockets” that have formed in your gums (common for moderate or advanced cases). Not only can they diagnose your condition, but they can treat it with different options depending on your unique case. They’ll recommend the one that will work best for you. That could include:

  • A good dental cleaning (if you have gingivitis), which could reverse the problem completely
  • A deep cleaning, called scaling and root planing, which cleans below the surface of your gums to remove bacteria; this requires repeat visits to keep the bacteria under control
  • Atridox®, a slow-release antibiotic that we can use along with deep cleaning to clear up the infection

We’re Ready to Help You Fight Gum Disease

With our help, you can restore your oral health and even improve the look of your smile. If you notice any gum disease symptoms, be sure to call 1st In Smiles in Plano, TX. Reach a friendly team member at 972-380-8105 now, or contact us online to request a thorough exam.