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Visit Your General Dentist to Prevent Gum Disease

General DentistYou can avoid oral health problems by visiting our General Dentist office.  Preventative care is essential for preventing both cavities and gum disease.  By brushing and flossing your teeth at home and then having your teeth cleaned twice a year you can keep your mouth in good health and prevent gum disease.

After your teeth have been cleaned, an examination will be conducted to see if there are any existing health issues such as gingivitis.  This is the earliest stage of gum disease and can make gums swollen, red, and cause them to bleed slightly.  While uncomfortable, gingivitis is not particularly painful so a dental exam is the best way to identify the condition so that it can be treated quickly.

As a general dentist, we treat gum disease by conducting a deep cleaning.  Bacteria are removed from on and under the gums.  This can be performed fairly quickly with minimal discomfort and a fast recovery time.  Treating the disease in this stage allows the gums to heal themselves once the bacteria have been removed.  Once the procedure is completed the symptoms should go away.

When gum disease isn’t treated quickly it can make the gums recede.  This is a dangerous condition because more of the tooth starts to become exposed and pockets can form in the gum tissue.  When this occurs, the tooth is at a greater risk of becoming infected and can even fall out.  Pockets in the gum tissue can also lead to a painful infection called a dental abscess.  Treatment at this stage is more intense and may require a gum graft in order to close the pocket and keep the tooth protected.  This has a longer recovery time as well.  Fortunately, regular dental exams can identify the disease before it progresses to this stage.

A General Dentist Can Improve Your Overall Health

Gum disease does more than impact the health of your mouth.  When pregnant, gum disease can induce pre-term labor and cause babies to be born at a lower than average birth weight.  This creates the need for pregnant women to have their teeth cleaned regularly in addition to getting ongoing care from their OBGYN.

Those at risk for heart disease need to also be careful with their gum health.  Studies have found that 91 percent of people with a heart condition also have gum disease.  It is unclear which condition starts first, but one thing is apparent, healthy gums are important for the health of your heart.  If you have gum disease it needs to be treated immediately to reduce the risk to your heart.  Additionally, this should prompt a visit to your physician to see if any undiagnosed heart conditions exist.  Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States, which makes preventative care extremely important.

At Vanek Dentistry, we work to prevent gum disease and other oral health issues so that our patients can live full and healthy lives.  To schedule an appointment with our general dentist office call (714) 545-7157.


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Dr. Eric Vanek, d.d.s

Eric has been a practicing dental surgeon for over 20 years and is the owner of Vanek Dentistry, a family dental practice in Costa Mesa, CA.

Published August 14, 2014. Updated August 17, 2021