Category Archives: Gum Disease

Dental Cleanings Can Help Prevent Gum Disease


Hickory, NC residents: When was your last dental cleaning? Did you know skipping a dental cleaning could put you at risk for gum disease treatment?

Whether we are your dentist in Hickory, NC or not, we are committed to giving you the right information to keep your smile healthy.

Research has proven a link between the advanced stages of gum disease and serious health problems like diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Over time, plaque and tartar can form in some areas even with meticulous brushing. When tartar collects below the gum line, gum infection can result. If left untreated, this can result in tooth loss.

There are a few terms you should know:


Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. You may also see the term “periodontal disease.” Symptoms include red and swollen gums that bleed easily. While this condition is often associated with inadequate oral hygiene at home, it may be an indicator of other health issues. Diabetes, smoking, aging, genetics, stress, pregnancy, hormonal changes, and a variety of other situations may affect your individual symptoms. Gingivitis is reversible with treatment and good home care of your teeth and gums.


When gingivitis is not treated, the condition can advance to periodontitis. Plaque can spread below the gum line and toxins in the bacteria can irritate the gums. This inflammatory response triggers the body to attack the bacteria and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are destroyed. You’ll often see the gums separating from the teeth as the disease progresses. There are many forms of periodontitis:

  • Aggressive periodontitis occurs in healthy patients who have neglected to regular dental cleanings and effective oral hygiene.
  • Chronic periodontitis is recognized by inflammation in gums and bone loss has started.
  • Periodontitis can be a symptom of another condition such as heart disease, respiratory disease and diabetes.
  • Necrotizing periodontal disease is an infection caused in individuals with systemic conditions like HIV, malnutrition and immunosuppression.

Here are some symptoms:

  • Swollen gums
  • Bright red or purplish gums
  • Gums are tender when touched
  • Gums pulling away from your teeth (receding)
  • Teeth look longer than normal (symptom of receding gums)
  • New spaces developing between your teeth
  • Infection between your teeth and gums
  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

If You are Concerned about Gum Disease

Dental cleanings are the first step. We’d like to be your Hickory, NC dentist, but whomever you see—see them regularly. Routine cleanings and proper home care can help you keep a healthy smile for a lifetime.

In addition to a great smile, we want you to have the very best dental health, and one of the most important reasons to visit a dentist is to have your teeth professionally cleaned. We’d rather compliment you on your great smile than discuss gum disease treatment.

Concerned? The sooner you seek the care of a qualified dentist in Hickory, NC, the better your chances of reversing damage from periodontitis (and potentially preventing other serious health problems).

We know that everyone is leading a busy life. Often, a dental visit is delayed. Regular dental cleanings are skipped. The longer you go without a trip to the dentist the harder it is to put forth the effort to make an appointment. We understand, but we won’t let you off that easily! Give us a call today and we promise you’ll enjoy the visit.

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