Understanding Gum Disease: Symptoms, Causes, and Natural Treatments

gum disease treatment

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a prevalent oral health issue affecting millions worldwide. It can range from mild inflammation to severe damage to the gum tissue and supporting bone structure.

Ignoring severe gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious health complications. In this article, we’ll discuss the symptoms, causes, and natural treatments for gum disease to help you better understand and manage this condition.

How can I tell if I have gum disease?

Identifying gum disease in its early stages is crucial for effective treatment. Here are some warning signs that you may have gum disease:

  1. Bleeding Gums: One of the most common signs of gum disease is bleeding of the gum line, especially during brushing or flossing.
  2. Tender or Swollen Gums: If your gums are swollen, tender, or red, it could indicate gum inflammation, a hallmark of gum disease.
  3. Persistent Bad Breath: Bad breath that doesn’t go away even with proper oral hygiene may be a sign of gum disease.
  4. Receding Gums: Gums that are pulling away from the teeth, making the teeth appear longer, could signal gum disease.
  5. Loose Teeth: Gum disease can cause the supporting bone structure to deteriorate, leading to loose teeth or changes in your bite.

What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease and Treatment?

Gum disease symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Here are some common symptoms and treatment options:


This is the early stage of gum disease, characterized by mild inflammation and bleeding gums. Treatment usually involves professional dental cleaning and improved oral hygiene practices.


If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, where the gums pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that become infected. Treatment may involve scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar buildup, antibiotics, and in severe cases, surgery to repair damaged tissues.

Advanced Periodontitis

In advanced cases, periodontitis can cause significant damage to the bone and tissues supporting the teeth, leading to tooth and bone loss. Treatment may require more extensive procedures such as a bone graft or guided tissue regeneration.

How Does Gum Disease Develop?

Gum disease typically develops due to poor oral hygiene habits that allow plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, to accumulate on the teeth and along the gumline. If plaque is not removed through regular brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by a dental professional. Tartar buildup irritates the gums, leading to inflammation and eventual gum disease.

Can Gum Disease Affect Only One Tooth?

bad breath

While gum disease can affect multiple teeth, it can also target specific teeth, especially if there are risk factors such as crowding, misalignment, or localized plaque buildup that make certain areas more susceptible to gum disease. However, without proper treatment and management, these risks can make periodontal disease contagious to the surrounding teeth, spreading around the mouth and escalating in severity.

Does Gum Disease Cause Tooth Decay?

While gum disease primarily affects the soft tissue and supporting structures of the teeth, it can indirectly contribute to tooth decay. Advanced gum disease can lead to the formation of pockets between the gums and teeth, providing a breeding ground for bacteria. These bacteria can produce acids that erode tooth enamel, leading to cavities and decay if left untreated.

What are some Natural Ways to Treat Gum Disease?

In addition to professional dental treatment, there are several natural remedies and lifestyle changes that may help manage gum disease:

Proper Oral Hygiene

The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash to help remove plaque and prevent gum disease.

Healthy Diet

Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can support overall oral health and keep your teeth fit and healthy while boosting the immune system to fight gum disease.

Oil Pulling

Swishing coconut oil or sesame oil in your mouth for about 15-20 minutes may help reduce plaque and inflammation.

Saltwater Rinse

Gargling with warm saltwater can help reduce inflammation and promote healing of the gums.

Herbal Remedies

Certain herbs like sage, chamomile, and tea tree oil have antimicrobial properties that may help combat gum disease. However, it’s essential to use them cautiously and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Managing Gum Disease

Gum disease is a common yet preventable oral health condition that requires prompt attention and proper management. By recognizing the symptoms, understanding the causes, and adopting good oral hygiene habits, you can protect your gums and maintain a healthy smile for years to come. If you suspect you have gum disease, don’t hesitate to consult with your dentist for professional evaluation and treatment.

Healthy Teeth and Gums with Dr. Dalesandro

At Dr. Dalesandro & Associates, our primary focus is on the dental health and happiness of your entire family. As specialists in family dentistry, we provide a wide range of comprehensive services tailored to meet the needs of patients of all ages. Whether you require routine check-ups, specialized treatments, or emergency dental care, our dedicated team is here to ensure that every smile receives the individualized attention it deserves.

What Sets Us Apart:

Our practice is dedicated to offering comprehensive family dentistry services, addressing various dental needs to help patients achieve optimal oral health and confidence in their smiles.

In cases of dental emergencies, we are fully equipped to provide prompt and efficient care, ensuring that your family receives immediate attention and relief from discomfort.

Enhance your smile with our professional teeth whitening services, utilizing safe and effective techniques to achieve the results you desire.

For our younger patients, we provide tailored preventive services aimed at promoting healthy habits and maintaining optimal oral health from an early age.

Located conveniently in Tucson, our practice is committed to providing exceptional dental care for your entire family, regardless of age or dental concerns. Begin your family’s journey toward healthier smiles with our website.

Managing Dental Anxiety: Tips for a Stress-Free Visit

dental anxiety

Dental anxiety is a common phenomenon that affects people of all ages. Sitting in a dentist’s chair can send shivers down the spine of even the bravest individuals. A study conducted in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland with a sample size of 11,382 adults reported a prevalence of high dental anxiety at 11.6%. Studies from India and France suggest that 46% of patients had some degree of dental anxiety.
The overall prevalence of dental anxiety reported in these studies ranged from 11.6% to 12.67%.

However, it’s important not to let this fear prevent you from maintaining your oral health and receiving the dental treatment you need. With the right strategies and mindset, you can transform your dental visits from nerve-wracking experiences into stress-free ones.

In this blog, we’ll explore several effective tips to help you manage dental anxiety and have a more relaxed visit to the dentist’s office.

Choose the Right Dentist

Selecting a dentist who understands and empathizes with your anxiety can make a world of difference. Look for a dental professional who specializes in treating patients of all ages or who has a reputation for being gentle and patient.

You can also schedule a preliminary appointment to discuss your concerns and get a sense of the dentist’s approach and demeanor.

Communicate Your Anxiety

Don’t hesitate to communicate about your dental phobia to your dentist and the dental staff. Qualified dentists are accustomed to helping patients overcome dental anxiety and can adapt their techniques to help you feel more comfortable.

Openly discussing your anxiety can also help build trust and rapport with your dental care team.

Bring a Supportive Friend or Family Member

Having someone you trust accompany you to your dental appointment can provide a sense of comfort and aid in overcoming dental anxiety. Their presence can help distract you from your anxiety and offer moral support throughout the visit.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation are powerful techniques to help calm your nerves before and during dental visits.

These relaxation exercises can help alleviate anxiety and make the experience more manageable.

Visualization and Positive Imagery

Visualize yourself in a calm and serene place while you’re in the dental chair. Creating a mental sanctuary can help shift your focus from anxiety-inducing thoughts to more positive ones, reducing your overall stress levels.

Ask About Sedation Options

sad woman having pain in teeth

If you experience severe anxiety, inquire about sedation options such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or oral sedatives used in dental procedures. These can help you feel more relaxed and at ease during the process.

Your dentist will discuss the best option based on your needs and medical history.

Break Down the Appointment

If your treatment involves multiple steps, discuss the possibility of breaking down the appointment into shorter sessions with your dentist. This can help you mentally prepare and help to create a stress-free dental experience.

Practice Good Oral Health at Home

Maintaining good oral hygiene at home can help reduce the need for extensive dental work, alleviating your anxiety about dental visits. Regular brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash can help prevent the need for more invasive treatments.

Have an Anxiety Free Dental Appointment

If you experience dental anxiety, remember that this is common, and you’re not alone. By following these tips and finding the best strategies, you can gradually overcome your dental fear and make your dental visits much more pleasant.

Don’t let anxiety compromise your oral health. Take charge and create a stress-free experience that keeps your smile healthy and beautiful.

Discover Exceptional Dental Care with Dr. Dalesandro & Associates

Regarding your dental needs, consult the expertise of Dr. Dalesandro & Associates in Tucson. Our skilled team is dedicated to providing top-notch general, emergency, and preventative dentistry services.

dental issues

Our compassionate team comprises Dental Hygienists and Dental Assistants who are highly professional and incredibly welcoming. We cater to diverse age groups within the family, from the youngest children to adults.

Whether you require preventive treatments, restorative procedures like cavity fillings, or even urgent first aid for dental emergencies, we’ve got you covered.

Our Tucson dental practice is committed to ensuring that our patients feel secure and confident about their smiles. Our dental office maintains the highest standards of cleanliness and is always prepared to welcome you for your appointment.

Contact us today to initiate your first step toward optimal oral health with the dedicated care team at Dr. Dalesandro’s.

Get in touch by exploring the comprehensive resources available on our website. Your smile’s well-being starts with us!

how to prevent cavities

How to Prevent Cavities: 9 Tips

Most people have dealt with cavities at some point in their lives. Fortunately, you do not have to spend a lot of time or effort once you learn how to prevent cavities. The team at Drs. Dalesandro, Derickson, & Weege provides expert preventive dental care services in Tucson.

1. Brush Regularly with the Proper Technique

Dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes. To brush your teeth, hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Besides cleaning your teeth, proper brushing techniques help remove debris, plaque, and other particles. 

2. Use the Right Toothbrush

Nowadays, dental professionals recommend using an electric toothbrush, which uses gentle vibrations or a rotating head to remove bacteria. Avoid using hard bristle toothbrushes or brushing too hard, as it can cause your gums to bleed. 

3. Floss Your Teeth Daily

Dental hygienists often find that patients do not floss their teeth. By flossing daily, you can keep the space between your teeth clean. You can choose from various floss options, including string floss, flossing brushes, and water flossers.

4. Try an Effective Mouthwash

Mouthwashes kill bacteria by rinsing away plaque, food, and germs. Most mouthwashes require you to swish a capful of liquid for 30 seconds. If the alcohol in your mouthwash burns and makes the experience unpleasant, switch to an alcohol-free mouthwash.

5. Get Fluoride Treatments for Your Teeth

Fluoride strengthens teeth and prevents tooth decay. Generally, water from your home’s faucet contains fluoride, or you can buy fluoride toothpaste. Ask your dentist about in-office fluoride treatments that take minutes to strengthen and protect your smile.

6. Cut Down on Late Night Snacks

Usually, we like to relax or watch our favorite movies while eating or drinking at night. If you do not brush your teeth before going to bed, you can experience tooth enamel erosion. Keep reading to learn more about how to prevent cavities.  

7. Avoid Eating Foods With Sugars and Acids

Avoid snacking or eating unhealthy foods that can stay lodged in your teeth and cause cavities. Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and cause tooth decay. The same applies to acidic foods and beverages, such as soft drinks, wine, and citrus fruits. 

8. Make Regular Dental Visits 

The best way to prevent cavities involves spotting them early. Routine teeth cleanings remove the buildup on your teeth that can cause a dental cavity. Visit your dentist twice a year for teeth cleaning and better oral health. 

9. Don’t Ignore Emergency Dental Care

Visit your dentist as soon as you experience tooth pain or a dental emergency. Untreated dental emergencies can lead to severe tooth decay. As tooth decay gets deeper and reaches the tooth’s pulp, you may experience sensitivity in the area.

Make Your Dental Appointment Today

Now that you know how to prevent cavities, take proper care of your teeth to ensure your dental checkups go smoothly. Preventing and fixing tooth decays will help you avoid dental fillings, root canals, and expensive dental treatments.

Contact the dental office of Drs. Dalesandro, Derickson, & Weege, today to have your teeth examined for cavities. Call us at (520) 327-5993.

how long do dentist appointments take

How Long Do Dentist Appointments Take: Factors to Consider

When scheduling an appointment, many of our patients ask, “How long do dentist appointments take?” However, the exact amount of time you’ll spend in a dentist’s office depends on several factors, including the reason for your visit.

We know how valuable your time is, though. That’s why we created this guide to the top two factors that influence the length of your dental visit. For more information or to learn more about our dental services in Tucson, contact our team at the dental office of Drs. Dalesandro, Derickson, & Weege today at 520-327-5993.

1. Your Appointment Time Depends on Your Dental Needs

Visiting the dentist takes time. However, the exact amount of time for appointments varies based on the kind of dental services you need. In the United States, most visits to a general practitioner take about 52 minutes.

General practitioners provide regular dental care. During these dental visits:

  • Hygienists clean and floss your teeth
  • You may get x-rays
  • A dentist assesses your overall oral health

In some cases, your dental cleaning may go very quickly. However, appointment times have gotten longer over the years. Today’s patients spend around seven minutes longer at the dentist than they did in the 90s.

Longer appointment times account for changes in the screenings performed by dentists. For example, many dental offices now offer oral cancer screening and other checks that weren’t readily available in decades past.

2. Your Appointment Time Varies Based on Your Dentist

Did you know that your appointment length will vary based on the type of dentist you visit? Generally, you’ll end up with shorter appointments when you go to a specialist, like an orthodontist. According to the American Dental Association, most patients spend about 44 minutes with a specialist, nearly ten minutes less than they’ll spend with a general practitioner.

Often, your general practitioner sends you to a specialist if you need oral surgery or have some severe forms of gum disease. In other cases, patients visit specialists to get braces or other orthodontic appliances.

How Long Do You Have to Wait Before a Dental Appointment?

Our team understands how precious your time is. That’s why we do everything possible to reduce the time you spend in our waiting room. However, you should always expect some waiting time, as we may face unexpected challenges with the patients before you.

That said, most people wait around seven or eight minutes in the waiting room of a dental office. You may get seen more quickly on a slow day, while you may wait longer on a busy day with a full schedule. Generally, waits are shorter if you schedule an early appointment.

How Long Do You Have to Wait to See A Dentist After You Schedule an Appointment?

When you call to set up an appointment with your dentist, you usually have to wait about six days before visiting the office. However, you can get help far more quickly if you have an emergency. Dentists make time to see you as soon as possible if you have a broken tooth, significant oral pain, or other concerns.

Book Your Dental Appointment Today

Now that you know how long dentist appointments take, you’re even better prepared to book your appointment and take the next steps toward improved oral health.

Learn how long it takes to fill a cavity, book your next appointment, and get to know our staff by calling our team at the dental office of Drs. Dalesandro, Derickson, & Weege. Get in touch today at 520-327-5993.

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