Gum disease is one of the most common dental diseases. The symptoms of gum disease vary depending on the stages of the disease hence difficult to know when you are suffering from it.
While you may be brushing and flossing regularly, a routine teeth cleaning at Smile Avenue Dental Center is your best bet to stop gum disease development.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is an inflammation that occurs around the gum line, which is where the roots of your teeth are. The reason gum disease is so important to understand and prevent, is because its progression can ultimately affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth.
Gum diseases usually develop and progress in three distinct stages –
The earlier stages of gum disease can be prevented with proper teeth cleanings and routine oral hygiene. However, as gum disease develops, the later stages can pose a serious risk to your oral health.
Gum Disease Stages
- Gingivitis. The earliest stage of gum disease, and tends to be the most common stage of development.
It results from plaque buildup at the gumline, usually a consequence of poor oral hygiene. When you refrain from regular brushing and flossing, plaque will build up on the surface, in between, and at the baseline of teeth.
This plaque, which usually consist of a community of various micro-organisms that can produce toxins that irritate your gums – hence the development of gingivitis.
If you’ve noticed some bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth, you may be experiencing some gum disease symptoms.
It’s good to watch for signs of gingivitis, as catching its development early can reverse its damage.
Routine teeth cleanings at Smile Avenue Dental Center and proper oral care at home are sure ways of preventing damage from gingivitis.
2. Periodontitis. In this stage, the supporting connective tissue, fibers, and bones that work to hold your teeth are irreversibly damaged.
Once periodontitis has developed, to repair your gums to their previous, healthy state becomes difficult.
Because the teeth supporting connective tissue is greatly damaged and no longer strong enough, the gums may begin to form pockets below the gumline. These pockets can cause further damage as it’s easier to trap food and plaque.
With periodontitis, frequent visits to the dentist to prevent further damage is highly advised
3. Advanced Periodontitis. The final, and most damaging stage of gum disease.
At this point in gum disease development, teeth can shift and loosen with the potential for their removal because the connective tissue and bone are destroyed beyond repair.
When the teeth are loose, it can affect your bite.
If teeth must be removed, Smile Avenue Dental Center can support you with various options to replace your teeth.
How to know that you have gum disease
Gum disease is most common among adults, however, it can develop at any age.
Because gum disease symptoms aren’t generally associated with pain, it can often go unnoticed or ignored.
Visit Smile Avenue Dental Center whenever you notice any of the following symptoms. Early detection can effectively create a reversal of gum disease development.
- Gums that bleed easily during brushing or flossing
- Swollen, red, tender, or puffy gums
- Gums that recede away from the tooth
- Formation of pockets in between the gum line and the tooth, as the gums have separated from the tooth
- Loose teeth
- Changes in your bite and how teeth fit together
- Pus surrounding your teeth and gums
- Teeth that are sensitive to hot or cold temperatures
- Constant bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
Gum Disease Causes
The bacteria that come from plaque are the culprit behind gum disease.
Plaque is a film formed on your teeth any time you consume foods that contain sugar.
If this plaque isn’t removed with brushing and flossing, it can harden and calcify into tartar – a tough substance to remove from teeth.
Tartar cannot be removed with brushing or flossing, and will require a visit to the dentist for a professional teeth cleaning to use special instruments made for tartar removal.
The constant buildup of plaque and tartar irritate your gums and initiate the development of gum disease.
Gum Disease Treatment
Treatment will depend on the stage of gum disease.
The earlier stages of gum disease (gingivitis) can often be reversed with routine teeth cleanings, and proper brushing and flossing.
Maintenance and good oral hygiene prevents plaque from building up and contributing to gum disease. Professional teeth cleanings are necessary to routinely remove tartar buildup and checkups allow your dentist to notice any changes in the development of your teeth and gums. Gum disease is a sign of an oral infection, and treatment will depend on the extent of the infection.
Professional Teeth Cleaning
At your regular dental checkup, your Smile Avenue Dental Center! dentist will perform what is known as scaling. This kind of deep cleaning allows your dentist to scrape away any kind of tartar that has built up above and below the gumline.
Your dentist can also perform root planing, where they remove rough spots that have formed on your teeth. These spots are often a haven for germs to accumulate.
Often used in conjunction with teeth cleaning, medication can help reduce infection if gum disease has developed. The use of medication will depend on the progression of gum disease, and is at the discretion of your dentist. This can include various kinds of mouthwash, gels, and antibiotics depending on your needs.
A surgery known as flap surgery can be performed if you’ve developed periodontitis and pockets have formed between your teeth and gumline.
This surgery can help you keep your gum line cleaner by lessening the area by which plaque and tartar can gather in a hard to reach area.
In this surgery, tartar is removed from the tooth before the gum is restructured around the tooth.
In more serious cases, bone and tissue grafts can be used to try and regenerate bone or tissue that has been lost.
Treatment will depend on many factors, independent to the patient itself, which is why it’s important to visit your dentist if you notice you may have some gum disease symptoms.
At your next routine cleaning, be sure to ask your dentist what steps you can take to lower your risk for developing gum disease.
Emergency services are also available, if you’ve found your symptoms don’t wait. You can make an appointment by visiting us online, or calling us at 0721568972 and a friendly staff member will work with your schedule. Don’t wait for symptoms to get worse, as gum disease can be prevented in it’s early stages!