Oral conditions such as tooth decay and gum disease are the most common health problems in the world. In the United States, tooth or dental decay leads the way as the most common childhood condition; however, among adults, gum disease is more prevalent. Gum or periodontal disease affects one of every two adults aged 30 and older. While widespread, these conditions are preventable and treatable.
Both conditions are progressive, with gum inflammation progressing to infection (requiring more extensive treatment) over time. This means at Hunt Valley Dental, we have opportunities to partner with individuals in northern Maryland on good home care and professional services.
Sticky bacterial plaque builds up at the gum line, irritates soft tissues, and releases toxins that break down the attachments between the teeth and gums and, eventually, the supportive bone in the jaw itself. Plaque feeds on food particles that linger on the teeth and in the mouth. So, it is critical to properly and consistently brush and floss. Since plaque builds up and hardens, patients must combine good home care with professional cleanings at our office. Our experienced dental hygienists are trained and have the specialized tools to painlessly remove even the most stubborn tartar (plaque build-up).
During these visits, our dentist, Dr. Thomas Rhodes, can also discuss and apply professional preventive services as needed to protect the smile’s appearance, health, and function. For instance, we can identify the types and number of bacteria present in your mouth using oral DNA testing. Certain strains of bacteria and bacterial imbalances contribute to the development of periodontal disease and how quickly it progresses and damages your gums and mouth. This state-of-the-art diagnostic test is fast, not invasive, comfortable, and highly accurate and precise.
Dr. Rhodes uses the information from such testing to stay ahead of gum disease. By knowing the particular types of bacteria that are flourishing in your mouth, he can recommend therapies and medicated products that specifically target the condition. These personalized treatments eradicate bacteria implicated in periodontal disease and control the number of harmful oral bacteria to bring a healthy balance to the “oral microbiome” (the community of bacteria that reside in your mouth).
Interventions may include modifying your diet and hygiene routine to minimize the risk of developing advanced gum disease. When detected and addressed early, the progression of the disease can be halted. Early effects of gum disease can even be reversed; however, once the condition has progressed from gingivitis (gum inflammation) to periodontitis (gum infection) and has eroded tissues, lost bone cannot be regenerated naturally. We must then use surgical procedures to build up and replace deteriorated or lost tissues. Fortunately, we use laser dentistry to offer the most effective, painless, targeted, and fast approach to treating disease and restoring gingival tissues.
Sometimes, gum disease does not produce symptoms, especially in its earliest stages. You may think your mouth is perfectly healthy and it isn’t. For these and other reasons, we encourage you to contact Hunt Valley Dental today at (410) 771-6300 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rhodes. During this appointment, he can detect even the earliest-stage problems and recommend proactive treatments to stop the condition from producing symptoms and threatening the health of your gums and mouth.