The most common problem among adults is gum disease (also known as periodontal disease), which is caused by bacteria that live in our mouths. The initial stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. At this stage the gum appears red, inflamed and swollen. The more advanced stage of gum disease is called periodontitis. At this stage, both the soft tissue and the hard (bone) tissue surrounding the teeth are infected and start to decay. If not promptly treated, periodontitis can result in tooth loss.
Regular cleanings and proper dental hygiene are the most effective way to prevent serious gum disease. The American Dental Association recommends cleanings every 6 months, and most dental insurance plans cover two free cleanings per year. If periodontitis is present, the first option is non-surgical treatments, which include scaling, root planning, prescription-strength oral rinse or application of local antibiotics. For severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, give us a call today at (415) 567-2900.