When patients suffer from gum disease, they often assume that any negative consequence will be limited to just the mouth. After all, when you get a cavity all you have to do is drill out the infection, fill the void, and the problem is solved! But with gum disease, the problem can cause a whole host of other very serious and potentially deadly health issues and requires immediate gum disease treatment. San Diego patients that have swollen, red, or bleeding gums should contact Dr. Beck immediately at (858) 635-6700. In this blog post, we’re going to look what gum disease is and examine some of the methods that are used to treat it.
What is Gum Disease?
While cavities can cause huge problems for patients, the foundation of your oral health is being free of gum disease. Without treatment, San Diego patients can expect their gum disease to not only cause tooth loss, but it can also cause major problems in other areas of the body. Here’s how it happens.
- Bacteria – Your mouth is home to billions of bacteria–some are good, and some are bad. Throughout the day these bacteria will collect on your teeth and form a sticky film called plaque. Without removal by brushing and flossing, the bacteria will continue to grow, forming a small ‘colony’ on your tooth that releases damaging toxins into the surrounding gum tissue. The longer the plaque remains undisturbed, the more damaging the toxins become.
- Immune response – In response to the bacterial toxins, your immune system attacks and causes inflammation, causing your gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily; the hallmarks of gum disease. Without treatment, the gums begin to pull away from the tooth causing a ‘pocket’ to form beneath the gums, which allows the bacteria to grow down the side of the tooth deeper into the gum tissue, closer to the bone. Eventually the bacterial toxins reach the surrounding bone and the resulting inflammation causes the bone to begin deteriorating around your tooth. Eventually the tooth becomes loose due to the extensive damage, even though there is often no pain or discomfort.
- The fallout – Without treatment, the bacteria can start to enter your bloodstream, traveling throughout your body, including your heart, liver, kidneys, and other organs. Even more damaging is the effect of your constantly activated immune system. Inflammatory cells and proteins become highly elevated and begin damaging many other areas of your body, exacerbating the effects of other chronic inflammatory conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, as well as causing their own damage and increasing your risk of many other disease including early onset dementia, parkinsons, several kinds of cancer, pregnancy complications, and even erectile dysfunction.
To prevent that from happening, patients need to get treatment for their gum disease and commit to the recommended maintenance program to prevent it from recurring. San Diego patients have a few different treatment options depending on the severity of their gum disease. While some patients just need a thorough cleaning–called “scaling and root planing”–others may require minor surgical procedures or even have teeth removed if they are beyond saving. Once the gums have become healthy, any missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants.
Why Work with Dr. Beck for Gum Disease Treatment
San Diego patients absolutely rave about how gentle, kind, compassionate and knowledgable Dr. Beck and her team are during all of their visits. From day one, Dr. Beck has made it her goal to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for her patients. She is also one of the most respected periodontists in her field. Her research into new treatment methods has been published in some of the most prestigious medical journals in the world. She is also a Diplomat of the American Board of Periodontology, the highest academic achievement in her field. As a San Diego native, Dr. Beck is passionate about helping her community stay healthy.
Make sure you contact us today at (858) 635-6700 to get started. You can also check out our online reviews to see what our incredible patients have to say about their experience with Dr. Beck.