A Primer On Gum Disease

oklahoma dentist explains gum diseaseAccording to Edmond Dentist, Dr. Michael Chandler, nearly half of Americans over the age of 30 suffer from some form of gum disease. Gum disease is often painless so many people might not realize that there’s anything wrong, but there are tell-tale signs that all is not well in your mouth.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease affects the tissues surrounding and supporting your teeth, and its development results in tooth loss as well as a host of other problems. Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque—the sticky layer of bacteria that forms over our teeth. Gum disease—medically referred to as periodontitis—develops in stages. Gingivitis is the first stage, and it is the only stage that is reversible.

Sign Number 1 : Bleeding Gums

If your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, there is a good possibility that you have gingivitis. Closer inspection of your gums may reveal that the tissue surrounding your teeth has begun to recede or become puffy and tender. Many times this is preventable with proper oral hygiene: brush twice daily, floss, eat well and drink plenty of water.

Only your dentist can successfully diagnose gingivitis or more advanced forms of periodontitis. If your gums are sensitive or bleeding, your dentist will be able to help.

Sign Number 2 : Bad Breath

No one wants to have bad breath, but those suffering from gum disease will be almost certain to experience it. Your mouth is warm and wet—the ideal spot for bacteria to set up shop. Foul-smelling bacteria feasts on the food you eat, and without proper removal through brushing, flossing, and trips to the dentist, this bacteria will change from plaque into tartar.

Using mouthwash or gum will only serve to treat the symptoms of gum disease, not the root cause. Your dentist will be able to provide insight if you have chronically bad breath and if it is related to periodontitis.

Sign Number 3 : Changes in Tooth Appearance

When gum disease advances beyond the gingivitis stage, serious damage could be on its way. If your permanent teeth develop gaps, your bite no longer aligns normally, or you begin losing teeth, you could be experiencing advanced stages of periodontitis. As the bacteria eats away at your gums, it will then move onto attack the bone surrounding your teeth, which will cause movement or loss of teeth.

If you notice that your teeth no longer fit together as they used to, it is time to visit your dentist. Misaligned or missing teeth could signal advanced periodontitis, and only your dentist will be able to help.

Gum Disease and Its Treatments

Regularly scheduled dental cleanings will help you keep on top of periodontitis. In its earliest stage of gingivitis, gum disease can be reversed with thorough, professional cleaning of plaque by your dentist. If things have advanced a little further, scaling and root planing will be the next step; scaling removes buildup of plaque or tartar around and below the gumline, and root planing will help smooth out the tooth so damaged gum tissue can attach more easily.

When gum disease has gone beyond these non-surgical treatments, you’ll be looking at more invasive procedures: bone and soft tissue grafts, guided tissue regeneration, or bone and gum surgery. Don’t let bleeding gums, bad breath, or a changing smile lead to irreversible damage! Some gum disease is caused by genetic or medical conditions, but most of the time, you can avoid the unsavory side effects of periodontitis with good oral hygiene and regular trips to the dentist.

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Dentist Hiring Tips

Dentists can help you enhance your oral health, which is vital for your general well being. You need a dental professional who will listen, offer advice, and make you feel comfortable during each visit. Some people wait until they have a dental emergency to choose a dentist but this is not advisable. Take advantage of recommendations, professional listings, and referrals to get the best oral care specialist. Here are some dentist hiring tips to get you started.

Dentist Hiring

Education and Training

Ask potential dentists about the schools they attended and dental training they have received. This will allow you to determine if they have the required skills and knowledge to carry out dental procedures. Select a professional who has attended well-known schools and been trained by the leading dental organizations.


Convenience is one of the most important aspects to consider when you think of a dentist’s location. Choose an oral care professional who is located close to your home or workplace. This will make it easy for you to attend your appointments or rush for an emergency visit.

Conferences and Continuing Education Workshops

Dentistry is a dynamic field. Find a professional that is aware of the latest research and technology changes in the field. Conferences and education workshops update dental professionals on the best approaches to take when attending to patients. This will ensure you get the most appropriate procedures for your oral problem.

Appointment Waiting Period

Find a practice that allows you to get appointments within the shortest time possible. Reputable dentists tend to have several patients and this may make it a little difficult to get an appointment. But you should not have to wait for several days to see the dentist. It is also important to ask about missed appointments. You should be able to reschedule a procedure in case of an unforeseen situation.

Office Hours

Get a dentist with flexible office hours. The hours should accommodate your schedule. If you work late, you should be able to get a dentist that is willing to wait for you to leave the office or schedule an appointment early in the morning. Flexible hours are particularly important when you have emergencies or require some after-hours care after a dental procedure.

You also need to determine the specific arrangements the dentist has made to handle emergencies that occur outside office hours. A reliable dental professional will arrange with referral services or colleagues to make sure the patients are well taken care of when they are unavailable.


Use a dentist who offers detailed information about fees for each procedure and relevant payment plans. This information should be provided before any procedure is carried out. You also need to get estimates for some of the common procedures including mouth x-rays, filling cavities, teeth cleaning, and oral exams.

Dental Health Plan

Your health plan is also an important consideration when you are selecting a dentist. Select a dental professional that participates in your health plan to avoid additional cost.

A good dentist can help you identify oral problems before they get serious. Take advantage of these tips to find the right one.