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Caring for Your Gums Is a Top Priority This September

woman practicing gum care

Your gums play a very important role in your mouth. They help not only hold your teeth in place but also create a barrier that protects you from bacteria. Thus, caring for your gums is an important part of your oral health. However, dentists say that many adults don’t care for their gums the way that they should.

The proof of this is seen in the number of adults who develop periodontal disease. While this disease can affect both kids and adults, it’s the leading cause of tooth loss among the adult population in the United States.

Thankfully, September aims to put a stop to the increasing number of gum disease cases. That’s because it’s an awareness month for gum care. Let’s take a look at how you can protect your gums, which will protect your overall health.

Are you ready to start achieving great gum health? Call today for an appointment with the dentists in Central Arkansas.

What Is Gum Disease?

You’ve likely heard of gum disease, but you might not know for sure what it is. In short, gum disease is an infection of the gums that occurs when you don’t care for them properly.

Gum disease is what dentists refer to as a progressive disease. This means that it gets worse over time when left untreated. Gingivitis is the first stage, which is typically just a mild irritation. However, it can progress into periodontitis, which destroys not only your gums and surrounding tissues but also your bone.

Since unhealthy gums can’t support teeth, one of the most common problems from untreated gum disease is tooth loss. However, gum disease can cause other problems beyond oral health.

This occurs when the infection in your gums spreads to your bone and, eventually, into your bloodstream. It’s not unheard of for people with untreated gum disease to experience septic shock. There have even been reports of gum disease being linked to certain kinds of cancer.

An Oral Surgeon Can Help

During the first stages of gum disease, treatment is typically noninvasive. It can involve deep cleaning, scaling, and changing your at-home oral care routine. However, if the disease progresses too far, major treatment is needed. When restorative work is necessary, it’s time to visit an oral surgeon.

Your Central Arkansas oral surgeon will treat the gum disease and the damage that the infection has caused to your mouth. Depending on how long you’ve had the infection and the extent of the damage, your oral surgeon may need to reshape your jawbone. Through the use of certain surgeries, such as gum graft surgery, your oral surgeon will work hard to restore your mouth to working condition.

The Different Types of Gum Disease Surgery

Depending on the type of damage that gum disease has caused in your mouth, you may need a specific type of surgery. The good news is that there are plenty of types of surgery, all of which are designed to treat specific problems caused by gum disease. Let’s take a look at these different types of surgery and the situations in which they’re needed.

Flap Surgery

If you have tartar deposits that are deep within the pockets of your gums, flap surgery is the answer. This surgery involves lifting your gums off your teeth so that the tartar buildup can be cleaned by the surgeon easily. With the tartar removed, the gums are stitched back into place around the teeth. Sometimes, this surgery is also required if parts of your bone need reshaping.

Bone Grafting

Over time, gum disease can destroy not only your gums but also the bone around the roots of your teeth. When this happens, bone grafting surgery is needed to replace the damaged bone. There are many ways that your oral surgeon can do that.

Sometimes, surgeons use manufactured bone or bone that’s donated from other people. Other times, they use your own bone during the grafting process. Your oral surgeon will talk to you about the different options so that you can choose which one is right for you.

Tissue Grafting

One of the most common problems that happens from gum disease is tissue loss. When your gumline recedes as a result, an oral surgeon can use tissue grafting to rebuild it.

During this procedure, your oral surgeon takes tissue from another area of your body and attaches it to the area of your gums that has receded. Usually, the surgeon will use tissue from the roof of your mouth to complete this procedure.

Tissue Regeneration

In some cases, you might not need tissue grafting because of the loss of tissue. Sometimes, your oral surgeon can place a special material in between your gums and bone to encourage tissue regrowth. While this isn’t an option for everyone, your oral surgeon will let you know if it could help you.

How Long Does Oral Surgery Take to Recover From?

Unfortunately, there’s no set time frame for how long it takes to recover from oral surgery. That’s because the recovery time depends on the operation that was done, the health of the client and the client’s age.

Thankfully, you won’t have to do any guesswork because your Central Arkansas oral surgeon will provide detailed instructions on the best possible recovery plan. The step-by-step instructions will ensure a speedy recovery that avoids reinjuring your gums.

Of course, there are a few things that you should always avoid. Right after surgery, you should avoid strenuous exercise. It’s usually recommended that you avoid hard foods for a while as well. Instead, stick with soft foods and soups. Also, you should avoid smoking or anything that will put extra strain on your mouth.

Gum Care Is Important, We Can Help

Now, you see just how important it is to keep your gums healthy. If you find yourself with gum disease and in need of oral surgery, though, we can help. We pride ourselves on offering oral surgery in Central Arkansas. We can help reverse the damage caused by gum disease and help you be proud of your smile once again.

Don’t wait for your gum disease to get any worse. Call us today to speak to one of our friendly representatives. You’ll be happy you did!

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