Gum Disease Treatment
Gum disease, also known as “periodontal disease,” is an infection of the gums surrounding your teeth. This is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults, and since it is practically pain-free, many patients aren’t aware that they have it.
During each regular checkup, your dentist will check for signs of periodontal disease by measuring the space between your teeth and gums.
What Causes Gum Disease?
When there’s a buildup of plaque (a sticky form of bacteria that forms on the teeth) and isn’t removed (by flossing, brushing, and regular dental checkups), it will create toxins that can damage the gums. Periodontal disease forms just below the gum line and creates small pockets that separate the gums from the teeth. This disease has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Gingivitis — In the early stages, the gums become red, swollen, and bleed easily. If it does not progress further, the disease is treatable and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing.
- Periodontitis — If left untreated, gingivitis will advance into periodontitis, where the gums and bone that support the teeth become seriously and irreversibly damaged. Gums infected with periodontitis can cause teeth to become loose, fall out, or need to be removed by a dentist.
While it is possible to have periodontal disease and not know it, some symptoms can include:
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Pus between teeth and gums
- Any change in the fit of partial dentures
- Gums that bleed easily or are red, swollen, and tender
- Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- Loosening or the separation of permanent teeth
- Any change in the way teeth fit together when biting
Treating Gum Disease
Treatments for gum disease can vary depending on the severity of each specific case. They can range from non-surgical treatments (these include at-home periodontal trays, scaling, and root planing) to periodontal and laser-gum surgery. Sometimes, even dental implants may be needed.
Preventing Gum Disease
Maintaining a consistent oral hygiene routine at home is a huge key to fighting gum disease. Remember to brush carefully, floss to clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and avoid tobacco use. On top of good home habits, seeing us for regular dental cleanings and exams will guarantee the health of your teeth because our staff is dedicated to making sure that your teeth and gums stay healthy and strong!