What do you think is the most common disease in Canada? Your mind probably jumps to chronic diseases like diabetes or heart disease, but the most common is actually gum disease. Over 20% of Canadians are currently suffering from gum disease, and most probably do not even know they have it. How could this be possible? Your dentist in North York, Dr. Eli Shem-Tov, wants you to know the signs you should notice, as well as how gum disease can be treated.
What Is Gum Disease?
When it comes to dentistry, much of it is concerned with keeping your teeth healthy, but the gums are just as important when it comes to your oral health. They do two very important things: One, they protect the sensitive enamel around your teeth’s roots, and two, they bring essential blood flow to the area. Just like your teeth, the buildup of plaque and bacteria can eventually lead to the breakdown of the gum tissue. This is what we call gum disease. Some common signs are:
- Red, swollen, or puffy gums
- Gums that bleed frequently
- Receding gums
- Pockets and bumps along the gum line.
These are all signs that your gums have become infected. Gum disease starts very subtly and takes a long time to develop but can eventually impact your mouth’s health dramatically. Gum disease is actually responsible for 70% of adult tooth loss in Canada. Also, the bacteria in your gums has the ability to get into your bloodstream and travel to any part of the body, affecting other organs, which is why it is commonly linked with heart disease, diabetes, and dementia.
How to Treat Gum Disease
Of course, whenever you start showing signs of gum disease, it needs to be treated quickly. The team at North York Dental have various methods to provide you with effective gum disease therapy.
One set of procedures involves a deep cleaning of your teeth along with gum line, known as scaling and root planing. Scaling utilizes specialized tools to help break up and clean off the built up bacteria and plaque that is irritating your gums. Afterwards, root planing involves smoothing your roots’ rough surfaces so that it less likely bacteria will accumulate there in the future.
If your gum disease has become quite advanced, you may need a gum graft. This involves taking tissue, either your own or donated, from the roof of the mouth and applying it to the gum line where the tissue has been lost. Not only do gum grafts help protect you from further infections, they can also restore the natural look of your smile. The procedure can typically be done in one visit at our office, and recovery time is minimal.
After any procedure you’ve had, we may recommend antibiotic therapy to further suppress the infection. This would involve Atridox™ Injectible Antibiotic, which is a gel-like substance that would be placed along your gum line and gradually releases antibiotics over time.
Ideally, you’d be able to prevent gum disease altogether, and you can do this with routine brushing and flossing. Be sure to clean along and even below the gum line at home, and this will help stop most gum disease before it can even start. It’s also essential that you regularly see your dentist in North York so we can catch any potential gum disease you have early. The sooner we spot it, the easier it will be to treat.
Want To Know More?
Gum disease may be relatively minor on its own, but it has been shown to lead to much more serious conditions, as well as tooth loss. Dr. Shem-Tov and his team are more than capable of treating your gum disease before it can get to that point. If you have any questions about gum disease or what you can do to prevent it, please give us a call today.