During checkups at 12 Oaks Dental in Austin, you’ll notice we take our time to thoroughly examine your gums. You’ll hear us assign numbers to each tooth; these numbers correspond with markers on special tool we use to measure the pockets in your gums. The measurements are on a scale of 1 to 10 and the lower the number, the tighter and healthier your gums are. Ones and twos are fine, but as the numbers get higher, so does the likelihood of periodontal disease.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. “Periodontal disease” is the technical name for gum disease.
- Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. Your gums may be red and swollen, and may bleed easily when brushing or flossing. Even a little bleeding is NOT ok, and it’s a sign that you should visit our office in Austin.
- Periodontitis is more advanced gum disease, developing when gingivitis has not been treated. Bacterial plaque on your teeth irritates your gums and this causes them to start breaking down.
According to the National Institutes of Health, smoking is the #1 risk factor for gum disease. In fact, if you use tobacco it makes treatment more difficult. It’s never too late to quit!
If you notice any bleeding or sore gums, chronic bad breath, or loose teeth, come see us right away! We will make every effort to save your natural teeth. We can replace lost teeth with dental implants or bridges and dentures, but wouldn’t you rather smile with your own teeth?
Healthy teeth and gums are important building blocks for good overall health and well-being as well. That’s why they’re one of our first priorities when you’re here for checkups. If you’re due for a regular visit, or have any questions or concerns, call our Austin dental office at 512.346.5196 today, and protect yourself from gum disease!