Hygiene Visits: Gum Disease Screening

Your Gum Health Impacts Your Overall Health

If you think gum disease just affects your mouth, guess again. Gum disease — also called periodontal disease — has been linked to serious health problems like heart disease. We know your oral health is connected to your total health and well-being. Which is why Dr. Harris and our entire staff are committed to prevention, detection, and treatment of gum disease.

Initially, we thoroughly examine you for signs of gum disease during every hygiene visit — it’s that important. Also, we ask that you let us know if you have any signs or risk factors. Because communication is the key to a successful healthcare partnership between us.

Signs of gum disease can include:

  • Teeth that are loose for no reason
  • Gums that are sore, swollen, tender, or bleeding
  • A change in the way you bite
  • Chronic bad breath that won’t go away
  • Pus between your teeth
  • Tooth and gum pain or sensitivity
  • Pain when you chew
  • Receding gums or longer-looking teeth

Risk factors of gum disease include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Hormonal changes in women and girls
  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications that reduce your flow of saliva
  • Genetics

Gum disease is an infection of the bone and tissues around your teeth. It’s progressive, which means it gets worse over time. However, it can be treated — and advancement of the disease can be halted. Gum disease starts as gingivitis, a mild form which is usually easily reversed. Unfortunately, it can turn into periodontitis, which is more serious. Without proper treatment of periodontitis, you risk losing your teeth or suffering from irreversible bone degeneration in the area — as well as developing heart disease or other serious problems.

As a dentist, Dr. Harris is focused on how your oral health impacts your total health. A healthy smile — and a healthier you — are always our top priorities.


Our Smiles Before and After:

gum diseaseBefore
gum diseaseAfter

Featured Testimonial

Dr. Harris was great explaining each step through the procedure. She and her staff make you feel very comfortable.

- James, Powhatan