A CDC report found that over 47% of adults in the U.S. have gum disease, a chronic dental condition that can lead to general health risks if left untreated. Dr. Deborah K. Ruprecht is a specialist in treating gum disease and promoting oral health. With over 20 years of experience, she truly enjoys helping people live healthier, happier lives. If you live near Mission Viejo, Ladera Ranch and Solana Beach, California, and would like to explore your treatment options, call us today at 949-472-5499 or request an appointment online.
Gum Disease Q&A
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that can damage your gums and bone tissue. Without proper treatment, gum disease may lead to tooth loss. Taking action early gives you the best chance at reversing the course of the disease and returning to a healthy smile.
Also, a growing body of evidence supports the connection between oral health and general health. Gum disease is linked to a higher risk of many common conditions, including:
- Heart disease and diabetes
- Respiratory illness
- Kidney disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- At-risk pregnancy
- Certain cancers
Taking good care of your gums will not only support a healthy and attractive smile but it can also help protect your body by reducing the impact of pathogens within your body.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
The mildest form of gum disease is called gingivitis. If you notice redness, swelling and bleeding when you brush, you may have gingivitis. Fortunately, this condition can be improved or even reversed by embracing better dental hygiene habits.
Advanced gum disease is periodontal disease, or periodontitis. Its symptoms include:
- Tender gum tissue
- Gums that bleed easily
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
- New spaces between teeth
- Pain while chewing
Periodontitis causes inflammation that can pull your gum tissue away from the surface of your teeth and eventually may lead to bone loss. If you notice your gums receding, or if you can see open pockets or bulges along your gumline, call our office right away.
What can be done to treat gum disease?
Dr. Ruprecht creates a customized treatment plan for each person. Your treatment depends on the severity of your gum disease. Part of your treatment plan will always involve learning how to improve your dental hygiene so you can avoid future gum problems.
A process called scaling and root planing is often the first step in treatment when gum disease has progressed into the bone. Ultrasonic instruments and hand scalers are used to remove toxins and hard deposits beneath the gumline.
In addition, local antibacterial treatments and antibiotics may be prescribed to combat aggressive pathogens.
More advanced treatments for gum disease include:
- Pocket reduction surgery
- Bone grafting
- Soft tissue (gum) grafting
- Guided tissue regeneration
A diagnostic exam is the first step in addressing gum disease, so call us today or request an appointment online with our Dr. Ruprecht.