Gum Disease

Periodontist in St. Louis, Missouri

Dr. Schlueter and Dr. Boszko specialize in the sophisticated procedure required to provide successful and gentle gum graft surgery. When patients come to Schlueter Periodontics and Implants for a consultation, we help them discover the most appropriate treatment for their unique condition.

What is Gum Disease?

Periodontal means “around the tooth.” Periodontal diseases are gum and bone infections caused by the bacteria in your mouth that destroy the foundation of the gum and bone around your teeth. They are some of the most common infections in the United States. In fact, more than 75% of American adults over the age of 50 have some form of periodontal disease, and over a third of the total population has moderate periodontal disease.

Despite the number of people infected with gum disease, many don’t believe it affects them. In a recent survey, 8 out of 10 Americans believed they didn’t have periodontal disease, even though 7 out of 10 had one or more symptoms.

Periodontal disease can be painless or asymptomatic until it is almost too late to save teeth. The most common symptoms are tooth drifting, mobility and gum swelling. If left untreated, gum disease can cause bad breath, swollen bleeding gums and eventually tooth loss. In fact, periodontal disease is the major reason for adult tooth loss.

Most importantly, periodontal disease is preventable.

Gum Disease

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Gum Disease Symptoms

Gum disease is either gingivitis or periodontitis. Gingivitis occurs when bacteria collect in the very tiny pockets at the gum line, causing inflammation. The most common symptoms are bleeding when teeth are brushed and persistent bad breath. Gingivitis accounts for about 70% of gum disease, and periodontitis makes up the other 30%.

If gingivitis goes untreated, the inflammation can invade connective tissue and even bone, causing periodontitis.

The symptoms of periodontitis include:

● Receding gums.

● Visible pockets of inflammation along the gum line.

● Gum pain.

● Sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures.

How to Treat Gum Disease

Proper dental hygiene can go a long way toward preventing gum disease. Most of us know the basics:

● Brush your teeth at least twice a day, for two minutes and floss at least once.

● Use a mouth rinse for more protection from plaque which can help improve gingivitis.

● Smoking increases the danger of gum disease by damaging gum tissue and increasing inflammation. If you smoke, preventing gum disease is one more very good reason to try to quit.

Brushing, flossing, and using a mouth rinse are the means to cure gum disease. But sometimes it’s too late and not enough. We are here to help by providing gentle solutions from highly-trained specialists that treat you and your unique condition.

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