When you take a look at your smile, you see more than just your pearly whites. Around and above each beautiful tooth, you see some pink, smooth tissue called your gums. Your gums are vital not only to your smile’s appearance (can you image how we’d look without them?), but also to your smile’s health.

That’s why we’re told to brush and floss our teeth, to use mouthwash and visit the dentist twice a year. If we don’t do even one of these, we could end up with gum disease.

Most people have at least heard of gum disease, and just the name if it doesn’t sound pretty. That’s because it’s not. Gum disease, which is also known as periodontal disease among dentists, is a degenerative condition. Basically, that means that periodontal disease eats away at the gums in your smile. But it doesn’t stop there. If gum disease goes untreated, you can end up losing teeth and even bone in your mouth, and you can put your overall physical health at risk.

Now, don’t let that scare you – unless scaring you helps make sure that you take care of your teeth. Unfortunately, gum disease isn’t some fictional idea in a black-and-white 1930’s horror film, which means that it is something that needs to be taken seriously. The early stages of gum disease often manifest themselves with red, swollen or bleeding gums. You may also experience stinky breath that just doesn’t seem to go away. Other than these symptoms, gingivitis can often be difficult to catch early on, as it progresses as the tortoise: slowly and steadily. That’s why it’s super important to visit Spartan Family Dentistry regularly. When you do, Dr. Martin Trockel or Dr. Sherry Church can catch gum disease early on and provide treatment.

If you find that you have developed gum disease, don’t panic! Our dentists have the skills to fix your smile. With periodontal maintenance, you’ll need to come in to our office around every three months for a deep cleaning. During this cleaning, our dentists will remove both plaque and calculus (that’s hard plaque, not the type of math; unfortunately, you’ll still have to do math in your life) from above and below the gum line.

Why do this cleaning every three months, you wonder? Well, the bacteria that cause gum disease hang out in your mouth and, if not removed, start throwing parties within three to twelve weeks. By having you visit our office every twelve weeks, we can keep the bacteria parties under control and stop your condition from getting worse.

If you notice that your gums are bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth, or if your pink, soft gums are more reddish in color and tender to touch, don’t ignore it. Come visit our Bixby family dentistry practice and let us take care of your smile with periodontal maintenance in Bixby, Oklahoma. You can call us at 918-366-3777 to set up your appointment.