Gum Disease Dentists Jacksonville And Live Oak F L

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is common yet often overlooked despite the serious oral health consequences it can have. Starting as plaque and tartar accumulation on teeth that results in gum inflammation, gum disease can progress if left untreated, causing damage not just to gum tissue, but teeth and bone that supports teeth as well. For this reason, our Jacksonville and Live Oak, FL, dentists stress early detection and preventive measures to get in front of this condition. 

Here’s how gum disease first appears and how at-home practices paired with in-office periodontal therapy methods can make a positive difference.

Early Signs of Gum Disease

While not desirable, the early signs of gum disease are still reversible if met with timely treatment and preventive measures like twice daily brushing, once daily flossing, and professional teeth cleanings every 6 months. It’s once gingivitis makes the transition into a more advanced form of gum disease that you have to manage a chronic condition. 

Common indicators of developing gum disease include:

  1. Red, Swollen, or Tender Gums: Healthy gums are typically firm and pink. If your gums are red, swollen, or tender to the touch, it could be an early sign of inflammation caused by plaque buildup.
  2. Bleeding Gums: If during brushing or flossing you notice bleeding gums, know that this is not normal and often indicates the presence of gum disease. This is a sign that your gums are irritated and inflamed.
  3. Persistent Bad Breath: Bad breath that doesn’t go away even after brushing and flossing can be a sign of gum disease. The bacteria associated with gum disease can produce unpleasant odors.
  4. Receding Gums: If your gums are pulling away from your teeth, making your teeth look longer, this could be a sign of gum recession, often caused by gum disease.
  5. Loose or Shifting Teeth: In advanced stages, gum disease can affect the stability of your teeth, causing them to become loose or shift. Over time, tooth loss can occur.
  6. Pus Between the Teeth and Gums: The presence of pus is a clear indication of infection and requires immediate attention.

Preventive Measures

Preventing gum disease involves a combination of good oral hygiene practices at home and regular professional care. Inside our dental offices, we provide a range of periodontal treatments to both effectively manage and keep gum disease away. Depending on the stage of gum disease being experienced, we will tailor our approach to meet each patient’s unique needs. 

At appointments, we recommend moving forward with:

  • Thorough Exams and X-Rays: These are essential for helping our dentists assess the extent of the disease, monitor bone health, and develop a personalized treatment plan to prevent further progression.
  • Scaling and Root Planing: For those at risk or showing signs of gum disease, scaling and root planing can be highly effective. This deep cleaning procedure removes plaque and tartar from below the gumline and smoothes the root surfaces, promoting gum reattachment and healing.
  • Antibiotic Treatments: In some cases, our dentists may prescribe antibiotic gels or mouth rinses to help control bacterial infection and reduce inflammation.

While at home, try the following: 

  • Daily Brushing and Flossing: Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. This helps remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth and along the gumline.
  • Healthy Diet: A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals supports gum health. Foods high in vitamin C, for example, can help maintain the strength and integrity of the gums.
  • Avoid Tobacco: Smoking and other forms of tobacco use are significant risk factors for gum disease. Quitting tobacco can greatly reduce your risk and improve your oral health.
  • Stress Management: Stress can weaken your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off infections, including gum disease. Practices like regular exercise, meditation, and adequate sleep can help manage stress.
  • Proper Hydration: Drinking plenty of water helps wash away food particles and bacteria from your mouth, reducing the risk of plaque buildup.

Make an Appointment

If you suspect you have gum disease or want to take preventive steps, our dentists in Jacksonville and Live Oak, FL, are here to help because your smile and health are worth it! Call one of our Higgins & White Dentistry locations today to request an appointment.

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