Periodontal disease, which is also known as gum disease, is something a lot of people around the world experience today. Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that keep your teeth in place and develops usually as a result of poor dental hygiene. Bad habits of not brushing and/or flossing is a straight road to gum disease and other illnesses of the body.
Sometimes certain medications can affect gum health. But, when teeth aren’t cleaned on a regular basis at home, and at the dentist’s office, plaque can build up quickly along the gum line and harden. The plaque causes irritation of the gum line and can develop into gingivitis and then periodontal disease. Chewing can become painful and bleeding may occur. Your gums will feel painful, swollen, and all this may lead to tooth loss.
If you see redness or feel irritation around your teeth, or notice bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth, please contact us for an appointment today. We’ll help you stop gum disease before it has a chance to progress into a significant problem.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
There are a number of signs and symptoms you should watch for that may indicate you have gum disease:
- Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
- Pain when chewing
- Bleeding gums
- Continued bad breath
- Tenderness in the gums
- Swollen gums
- Red, irritated looking gums
- Receding gums
- Loose Teeth
Who Is Most at Risk for Gum Disease?
When it comes to developing gum disease, there are factors that indicate you may be more at risk.
Poor Dental Hygiene
The most obvious is poor dental hygiene. It is vital to keep up good habits at home. Carefully flossing between each tooth, brushing away food debris, and using anti-cavity mouthwash every day will ensure healthy gums. Coming into see us for a regular exam and professional cleaning every six months will confirm your success in keeping gum disease at bay. If your cleaning habits are spotty at best or even rarely performed, more frequent visits are recommended. We’re here to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy. Tooth loss is an experience that can be avoided through regular care at home and in the office.
Smoking is also a significant risk factor, not only in developing gum disease, but treatments are less effective if the patient is a smoker. Please let us know if quitting is something you struggle with the next time you come in. We want to come up with the best solution for your particular needs and circumstances.
Some other risk factors include:
- medications that reduce the flow of saliva
- dry mouth
- hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause
- genetic susceptibility
- illnesses like AIDS and diabetes
If these are concerns of yours, please let us know so we can decide on the best treatment for you. There may be products and treatments we can recommend to help you.
How to Treat Gum Disease
Because gum disease is essentially an infection, one that can affect whole-body health, the main aim of gum disease treatments is to control the infection. The types and number of treatments available depend on how severe the infection has become. LANAP, a cleaning done with a laser, is the most effective for advanced cases. It removes diseased tissues and promotes healing between the gums and tooth surfaces that have become exposed as the disease progresses. Of course, any treatment we recommend will require you to keep up good oral care at home, and certain lifestyle changes (such as quitting smoking) may be necessary.
There are other actions you can take to keep your gums healthy such as brushing, flossing, and visiting us for regular dental cleanings. When you are here for treatments and consultations, we will recommend products that will help you and give you advice and instructions to keep your gums healthy.
If you have noticed any of the signs or symptoms of gum disease, please contact us today to schedule an appointment. The sooner we can identify and treat gum disease, the better your chances of keeping your teeth. We’ll get you on the right track to oral health, reduce and eliminate symptoms, and rebuild gum health.