The Importance of Healthy Gums
Growing up, you were probably taught to brush and floss daily and visit your dentist two times a year to avoid cavities. This is good advice that still holds true today.
Practicing effective oral hygiene habits will also protect your gums. In fact, dangerous bacteria that cause cavities can also wreak havoc on your gums, leading to a devastating condition known as gum disease.
Visiting Dr. Gioia for regular checkups will keep your gums healthy, helping to ensure a lifetime of healthy smiles. If you’re currently suffering from gum disease, we have effective treatments to remedy the condition.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that attacks the patient’s gums. The bacteria that cause gum disease feed on the plaque, tartar, and debris in your mouth — that’s why it’s so important to brush and floss every day.
When bacteria infect the gums, it causes them to become red and swollen. Over time, pockets of infection will grow around the base of your teeth.
If left untreated, gum disease can reach the advanced periodontitis stage. At this point, you’ll experience pain, bleeding, loose teeth, and bad breath. Eventually, your teeth will begin to fall out.
Gum disease also causes swelling of the arteries, allowing harmful bacteria to spread throughout your body. Recent scientific research indicates links between gum disease and the following medical conditions:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory disease
- Low birthweight
- Alzheimer’s Disease
Treating Gum Disease
If you experience pain or bleeding while brushing, or if your gums feel tender and swollen, call Dr. Gioia right away. You could be suffering from gum disease. Fortunately, we provide treatment for all stages of gum disease.
Scaling and Root Planing
Gum disease is caused by bacteria that grow as they consume the tartar that accumulates on your teeth. That’s why regular checkups are so important for removing it.
Tartar that develops around the roots of your teeth is a major threat to your gums. Dr. Gioia remedies this issue with scaling and root planing, a treatment that’s often referred to as a deep cleaning for your gums.
Scaling is the first step of the process. Special tools are used to carefully remove disease-causing tartar from beneath the gums. Dr. Gioia will numb the area before he begins.
The second step is called root planing. During this part of the procedure, the roots are smoothed out to enhance the healing process. This protects the gums from further exposure to bacteria.
One of the procedures that Dr. Gioia uses to treat gum disease is called a Gingivectomy. During this procedure, the infected part of your gums is surgically removed and the surrounding gums are stitched back together.
Following your gingivectomy, the area will be covered with a surgical dressing until it heals. The recovery process takes about a week, and it’s important to take extra care of your mouth by avoiding foods that could irritate the surgical site during this time.
How to Have Healthy Gums
Taking good care of your gums will help preserve the hard and soft tissues that support your smile so it can remain healthy for years to come.
Dr. Gioia recommends maintaining the following habits to protect your oral health:
- Floss daily with nylon-coated floss
- Rinse daily with an antibacterial mouthwash
- Brush twice a day using fluoride toothpaste
- Avoid smoking and smokeless tobacco products
Visit Dr. Gioia in Phoenix for a Beautiful Smile
At William F. Gioia DDS Microscope Enhanced Dentistry, we’re here to help you smile with confidence. Call (602) 864-1984 today to schedule your next appointment. Or, just fill out the information form on this page and we’ll get right back to you.