Gambrills, MD dentist identifies and prevents gum disease causes early, when solutions are most effective
To treat gum disease, you must know what causes this common condition in the first place. That way, the skilled team at Bingham-Lester Dentistry can help you to avoid or minimize the factors that put you at risk of developing this leading cause of tooth loss. While it is estimated that half of American adults aged 30 years and older have some form of gum (or periodontal) disease, it is preventable. As a progressive condition, there are many opportunities for Dr Vickii Bingham-Lester to identify gum disease causes and solutions in Gambrills, MD, which are specific to each patient. If identified and treated in its early stages, periodontal disease can be halted, and its effects can be reversed.
How gum disease forms and progresses
Our mouth harbors naturally occurring bacteria. Certain strains of bacteria love to feed off the carbohydrates (sugars and starches) in the foods and drinks that we consume. If we do not remove food debris by brushing and flossing consistently and diligently, the bacteria build up and form plaque. This sticky film irritates the gums that support our teeth. Early stage gum disease, called gingivitis, can progress to periodontitis without treatment. Plaque can harden and become stubborn tartar and spread below the gumline. Throughout the disease process, toxins present in plaque bacteria form pockets between the teeth and gums. Dr. Bingham-Lester uses special instruments to measure these pockets, which help to tell her how far along the disease has progressed, which aids in treatment:
- Pockets measured between 1 to 3 millimeters indicate “healthy attachment” between the teeth and gums.
- Pockets of 4 millimeters are a warning sign, as they indicate gingivitis and the need for treatment to prevent periodontitis.
- Pocket depths of 5 to 7 millimeters are indicative of moderate to severe gum disease and require aggressive treatment.
Eventually, without treatment, periodontitis erodes supportive gum and bone tissues and leads to teeth becoming loose and falling out, or the need for extraction as there is not enough structure for them to be “saved”.
A preventive foundation
The team at Bingham-Lester Dentistry emphasizes relationships with each patient. From the get-go, they assess potential risk factors for periodontal disease. These factors include:
- Inconsistent or inadequate oral hygiene
- Poor nutrition
- Smoking and use of products that contain nicotine
- Use of certain medications
- Heart disease, diabetes, and other systemic medical conditions
- Bruxism (clenching and grinding your teeth)
- A family history of gum disease
Each of these risks can be addressed proactively; for instance, while the “standard” recall check-up and cleaning occurs every six months, Dr. Bingham-Lester may recommend more frequent check-ups at three- or four-month intervals. If you already have signs of gum disease, treatment may involve removing tartar from periodontal pockets and applying a localized antibiotic to fight infections.
Periodontal care cannot wait. Call 410-885-6522 to schedule your appointment at Bingham-Lester Dentistry in Gambrills, MD.