Could I get some advice from one of your family dentists? I think I have gum disease. My gums hurt and sometimes when I brush my teeth they bleed. I just moved to CA and although I am working my employer doesn’t provide dental insurance. I have been waiting to save up some money so I could get the insurance. For now I need to treat this myself. I see a lot of things online for dental care but I am not seeing anything for gum disease. I gargle with a strong mouthwash and for the first time in my life I have started flossing. It seems that the floss makes things worse. Until I can get dental insurance, will one of your family dentists tell me what can I buy to help get rid of the gum disease or at least to make it better? Thanks. Perry
Perry – In addition to at-home care, regular visits to a family dentist are crucial to preventing gum disease. Although you don’t have dental insurance, you will be able to find an understanding dentist who will work with you to make treatment affordable for you. Gum disease has two stages—gingivitis and periodontitis. We’ll discuss each of them.
Gingivitis is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Your gums may also start to pull away from your teeth.
There are several factors that can contribute to gingivitis including:
If gingivitis is treated in its early stages, the second stage—periodontitis—can be avoided. Your teeth need to be examined by a family dentist. A dental hygienist will do a deep cleaning of your teeth to remove the buildup of plaque and tartar. You’ll be instructed to floss your teeth daily and keep your appointments for regular dental cleaning. You lack the dental tools and skill needed to thoroughly clean your teeth and remove the buildup that leads to gum disease.
Periodontitis is an advanced form of gum disease that results from untreated gingivitis. It is accurately diagnosed by a family dentist. Periodontitis is characterized by chronic inflammation and bleeding of the gums. The disease can affect the jawbone. As your gums progressively detach from your teeth, loose teeth result. In severe cases, tooth loss can occur.
Scaling and root planning treatment is needed. This procedure is performed by a skilled dental hygienist at your family dentist’s office. Plaque and tartar are removed from your teeth and tooth roots. This is a deep cleaning that may take more than one dental appointment to complete. You can’t perform the procedure yourself. Antibiotics and/or antimicrobial mouthwash may be prescribed.
In order to prevent gum disease from returning or advancing, you must maintain your scheduled appointments with a family dentist for examinations and cleaning. Call a few dentists’ offices to find one that provides payment plans or other ways to make treatment affordable.
This post is sponsored by Dr. Ralph Stanley, Dr. Magdalena Azzarelli, and Dr. Rogé Jacob of Hillsdale Dental Care.