Millions of people suffer from gum disease, caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth. Without treatment, this problem destroys the bone that supports the teeth, damages the soft tissues of the mouth, and leads to the gums separating from the teeth, causing tooth loss. At Impressions Dental in Chandler, AZ, we treat patients who struggle with this condition and provide treatment solutions that help combat symptoms, eliminate pain, and heal the gums.
Signs of Gum Disease
The early stages of gum disease are not always easy for the untrained eye to recognize. This fact makes it essential that you keep up with your regular dental visits every six months so your dentist can recognize gingivitis when it starts and get treatment started to stop the problem in its tracks.
If gum disease is permitted to grow for too long, the symptoms will become quite noticeable and can include:
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Red gums
- Tender gums
- Bad breath
- Pain while chewing
- Sensitive teeth
- Gum irritation
- Gum recession
- Loose teeth
- Tooth loss
Gum Disease Treatment
All gum disease treatments address the infection while also working to minimize the formation of plaque, reduce inflammation, stop bleeding gums, and promote healing. Depending on the source and severity of your condition, treatments can include:
- Deep cleaning: If build-up is only around the edge of the gum line, plaque, bacteria, and tartar are removed from the teeth and gums to start the healing process.
- Scaling and root planing: If plaque has become trapped between the gums and teeth, scaling and root planing will be necessary. This soft tissue management treatment uses special tools to remove tartar from below the gum line and smooths out bumpy areas to eliminate surfaces that easily attract plaque.
- Surgery: When the gums have receded so dramatically that pockets have formed in the tissue, pocket reduction surgery eliminates bacteria around the teeth by cutting back the gums, removing bacteria, and repairing damaged bone. Gum grafts can also be used to help gum tissue regenerate, securing the gums around the tooth to protect them and the roots.
Ways to Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease is a serious oral health problem. It may start small, but once it has grown, this problem can leave you with loose teeth, missing teeth, and an incomplete smile. Then you will not only need periodontal treatment, but tooth replacements like dental implants too.
While the risk of developing gum disease increases as you age, young people are not immune to this condition, especially if they do not take good care of their teeth and gums. But you can prevent this oral disease by:
- Maintain an oral health routine: Taking care of your teeth is easy. Brush twice a day, floss at least once a day, rinse with antiseptic mouthwash, and visit your dentist every six months for a teeth cleaning and dental exam.
- Know your risks: If you have family members who suffer from gum problems, you have a higher chance of experiencing the same, so be sure to prioritize your oral health. If you are pregnant or have diabetes, your risk is also increased.
- Research your medications: Some medicines can cause dry mouth and other oral health problems that contribute to gum disease. Let your dentist know what you’re taking.
- Quit the tobacco: Smoking or chewing tobacco automatically increases your risk of developing gum infections.
- Refine your diet: Eat a healthy diet that is low in sugar and high in calcium-building foods to keep your teeth and gums healthy.