Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. That’s why it’s extremely important to focus on prevention, especially when it comes to caring for your gums. You may never notice any symptoms until you detect gum inflammation and bleeding, and the disease has already reached a serious state. If gum disease continues to advance, it can lead to bone and soft tissue deterioration, as well as the complete loss of teeth. We don’t want that for anyone!
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Many people think of plaque buildup and tartar as the main culprit behind gum disease. But what is plaque really? And how does it lead to problems with our gum tissue? Caused by a combination of bacteria, saliva, mucus, and other particles, plaque is a colorless film that sticks to your teeth. If not removed, plaque can harden and become tartar.
When tartar remains unchecked in your mouth, you can develop gingivitis. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue caused by infection. Typically, the symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen gums that bleed during brushing.
While routine flossing and regular brushing, as well as visits to your dentist for a professional cleaning, can generally reverse the damage caused by gingivitis, if left untreated, the disease can develop into a more severe infection, even leading to infected pockets around the tooth as the gum separates from the enamel. The bacteria in these pockets will eventually begin to deteriorate the bone and break down the connective tissue in the gums.
How Do I Know If I Have Periodontal Disease?
If you notice your gums are bleeding when brushing or flossing, you may be showing the first signs of periodontal disease. Other symptoms include:
● Halitosis (bad breath)
● Swollen, red gums
● Sensitive gums
● Receding gum line
● Loose teeth
Ask one of our dentists about the risk factors, such as smoking, which can increase your chance of developing periodontal disease.
How is Gum Disease Treated?
A visit to our office is the first place to start. Our team will take comprehensive x-rays to determine if there is any bone deterioration or other signs that you may be suffering from gum disease.
The next step is a deep cleaning treatment including scaling and root planing to remove tartar buildup deep below the gum line. Anti-microbial treatment is then used to kill the bad bacteria that causes periodontal disease.