Periodontal disease, often referred to as gum disease, is a common issue people face, but many don’t understand the importance of noticing signs of this disease early. Catching periodontal disease in early stages can lessen the chance of bone and teeth loss due to the infection this condition causes. It may also lead to cosmetic changes including gum recession. This means that noticing early signs of gum disease is imperative to getting the treatment and using prevention methods to deter any chance of irreparable issues due to this disease.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection at the junction of the teeth and gums. It develops as a consequence of poor oral hygiene. Usually, as a result of not flossing and brushing enough or correctly. Plaque is built-up bacteria that naturally coats the teeth from eating and drinking. But, while plaque is natural and normal for every mouth to experience, it’s important to address it every day. When plaque is not adequately removed by proper brushing and flossing, it can lead to the development of gum disease.
The Dangers of Gum Disease
It’s vital to address gum disease as it can lead to the development of a number of other health issues. Some of the dangers of gum disease can include:
- Bone loss
- Heart conditions
- Early term and low birth-weight pregnancy.
Early Signs of Gum Disease to Lookout For
Due to the dangers of gum disease, it’s important to look for early signs and get treatment as soon as possible. However, in most cases, it is completely painless and gum disease goes relatively unnoticed until damage has already been done. Typically, some of the early signs of gum disease include:
- Receding gums from the teeth
- Bleeding gums (after or during brushing and flossing)
- Teeth separation
- Irritable and red gums
- Loosening teeth
- Changes to bite
- Bad breath
Treatments for Gum Disease
Once gum disease is identified through early signs of gum disease, the establishment of treatment is necessary for recovery. Gum disease doesn’t just go away on its own and it’s something that needs addressing with treatment at your dental office. Depending on the stage and severity of gum disease, there are a number of options for treatment. Some of the treatment options for gum disease include:
Sub-Gingival cleanings: If gum disease is caught early, sub-gingival cleanings can help in the removal of plaque that’s resulting in gum infection. These go slightly deeper than routine cleanings are designed to remove plaque from under and near the gumline.
Nonsurgical Scaling and Root- planing: This is the process of scaling and planing away plaque under the gumline usually with the use of local anesthesia. This allows for the painless removal of plaque, giving the gums a clean surface to regrow successfully without infection.
Gum Surgery: Surgery to address gum disease that is past the point of reversal through sub-gingival cleanings or scaling and root planing is called pocket reduction. This surgical technique requires the gums to be lifted so the removal of plaque and tartar can be completed. Then, gums are replaced so that they can grow back where they receded from due to gum disease.
Bone Grafting: In severe cases of periodontal disease, bone loss can occur. In these scenarios, bone grafting may be necessary. This can be done during surgery with either synthetic, cadaver, or a patient’s own bone.
Think You’re Experiencing Early Signs of Gum Disease?
It’s important to address gum disease as soon as you recognize the symptoms. If you’re living in the Jupiter, Florida area, consider Riverbend Family Dentistry for your gum disease treatment needs. Contact us today to learn more about your options and to schedule your initial consultation.