Richmond Dentist Explains Gum Disease

Sep 14th, 2012 | By | Category: General Dentistry, Gum Disease

Gum DiseaseAccording to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), over 75% of adults in America are afflicted with periodontal disease of varying degrees. Some people take gum disease rather lightly, perhaps believing that it must not be serious because of its commonality. Yet, it is the number one cause of adult tooth loss in America. Growing evidence of the oral-systemic connection between your oral and overall health adds further importance to understanding gum disease. Richmond, CA, dentist Dr. Stefan Moiceanu expounds upon gum disease, and offers non-surgical treatment to treat it.

What is Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, begins as an inflammatory condition known as gingivitis, which is caused by bacterial plaque buildup and is marked by red, swollen gums that can bleed easily. Bacteria that contribute to the formation of dental plaque, mainly the bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis, invoke your immune system’s inflammatory response to harmful germs. As gum disease progresses, the connective tissue that holds gum tissue to your teeth erodes, causing the gums to separate and form periodontal pockets where bacteria can collect. At this stage, the supporting gum tissues can be destroyed and supporting bone structure can deteriorate, leading to single or multiple tooth loss.

Smoking and Gum Disease

Perhaps not surprisingly, smokers are at a significantly increased risk for developing or exacerbating gum disease. Smoking tobacco contains over 400 different harmful chemicals and can disrupt the normal function of your oral tissue cells. According to an AAP study regarding smoking and oral health, an overwhelming 41.3% of daily smokers over the age of 65 are completely toothless, compared to only 20% of nonsmokers aged 65 and older.

Treating Gum Disease

Unfortunately, gum disease is not curable. Once the condition develops and you’ve successfully treated it, you must remain vigilant to help prevent it from flaring up again. To treat gum disease, we offer effective non-surgical scaling and planing. During your visit, Dr. Moiceanu or our talented hygienist will thoroughly remove traces of plaque and tartar buildup, and perform a root scaling and planing procedure to heal the gums and prevent the spread of infection. Scaling involves removing plaque from the pockets created by separated gum tissue. Root planing smoothes your tooth’s root, hindering bacteria from attaching to its surface and facilitating the healing and reattachment of gum tissue. To learn more about gum disease, or to schedule a consultation, contact Dr. Moiceanu at our Richmond, CA dentist office by calling 510-758-7222. Located in Richmond, we proudly serve families from Berkeley, San Pablo, Pinole, Benicia, Vallejo, and the surrounding communities.

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