Periodontal Disease: Not a normal part of aging

periodontal surgery CarrolltonAlthough our risk of developing gum disease increases as we get older, periodontal problems are not an inevitable component of aging.

Gum disease is a serious issue, though, regardless of a patient’s age. It can lead to tooth and bone loss, and it also may have ramifications for systemic conditions like heart disease or diabetes.

Because gum disease can have such significant consequences for an older person’s health, it’s important for patients to monitor their gums for signs of concern, like bleeding, swelling or pockets that develop in the gum tissue and seek treatment if they notice any symptoms.

Fortunately, periodontal disease does respond well to treatment in its earliest stages. A periodontist may only need to give the teeth a deep cleaning in order to reverse the mildest forms of gum disease.

On the other hand, the longer you delay treatment for gum disease, the more likely you will end up needing a more extensive treatment like periodontal surgery.

That periodontal surgery may involve cleaning out pockets that serve as a collection point for the oral bacteria that cause gum disease. Surgery may also be necessary to graft tissue at sites where the gums have begun to recede.

If the thought of an intervention for gum disease is unsettling to you, keep in mind that it is also possible for you to reduce your risk of gum disease, even as you get older. Stick to a solid oral hygiene routine at home, and be sure to see your dentist at least every six months for cleanings and exams. These proactive steps are even more important for patients who have suffered from a previous episode of gum disease.

Healthy gums are a tremendous asset as you age, and they play an important part in maintaining your natural smile and reducing your risk of tooth loss. If you develop periodontal disease, getting prompt attention from a periodontist can help to resolve the issue before it becomes severe. Contact the office of Dr. Amit Patel at 972-242-7603 for an evaluation if you notice any symptoms of gum disease.