Did you know that aggressive gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)? This concerns your Greensboro, PA, dentist, Dr. Anthony Marchionno, which is why he offers the best in gum disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Read on to learn more.
What is gum disease?
Your gums are just as important to your oral health as your teeth are. This soft, pink tissue covers, supports, and nourishes your bone and tooth roots, beautifying your smile and allowing it to thrive
However, if they become diseased and start to recede, the gums spread bacteria and inflammation throughout the body. On top of tooth loss, periodontal disease exacerbates difficult health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, dementia, stroke, hypertension, and more.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
Mild gingivitis exhibits slightly sore and bleeding gums. However, more advanced forms cause these escalating symptoms:
- Mobile teeth
- Exposed tooth roots
- Dental sensitivity to heat and cold
- Bad breath which does not respond to mouthwash or tooth brushing
- Puffy, red, tender gum tissue
- Dusky gums
- Pimples or fistulas on the gums
- Deep periodontal pockets (larger than three millimeters on oral examination)
Causes of gum disease
The bacteria contained in plaque and tartar on and between teeth and under gums virtually eat away at soft oral tissue—the gums most notably. Additionally, some people are more prone to gum infection and recession due to:
- A compromised immune system
- Hereditary factors
- Aggressive brushing
- Teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism)
- Smoking and chewing tobacco
- Oral piercings on the tongue and lips
The best preventives for gum disease are a healthy, high-fiber diet, ample hydration, twice-a-day brushing, once-daily flossing, and six-month professional cleanings/exams with your dentist in either his Johnstown or Greensburg, PA, office.
The details on gum grafting
Gum grafting is an in-office oral surgery that places gum tissue on exposed tooth roots and other areas that lack sufficient gum coverage. Besides stopping infection and stopping recession, gum grafting improves the appearance of smiles damaged by periodontal disease, says the American Academy of Periodontology.
To determine if you need a grafting procedure, your dentist will examine your teeth, gums and other oral tissues. If a graft is your best option, it can be done in-office with a local anesthetic.
Types of gum grafts include:
- Connective tissue gum grafts, which are taken from underneath the palate and sutured over the exposed areas
- Donor tissue grafts, which are materials gathered from other natural sources and vetted by special medical labs
- Free gingival grafts, which are taken from under the surface of the palate
Innovation at its best
That's what gum grafting is. For more information, contact Dr. Anthony Marchionno and his team in either Johnstown or Greensburg, PA, for a one-on-one consultation on your periodontal needs. Call us at (814) 262-7000 for our Johnstown office. For Greensburg, phone (724) 836-2911.