Gum disease can range from mild gingivitis to severe periodontitis. Aggressive periodontal infections are one of the leading causes of tooth loss.
Thankfully, these gum infections are preventable with good oral hygiene and six-monthly cleans.
What Causes Gum Disease?
When food is left behind after meals, it produces plaque. After a few days, plaque hardens into calculus (tartar). The bacteria in these deposits attack your gums, causing inflammation and destruction of the underlying bone structure. Over time, the gums detach from the root surfaces to form “pockets” around each affected tooth.
This vicious cycle progresses over time. Left untreated, it will ultimately lead to tooth loss. Fortunately, periodontal therapy can help arrest gum disease before it gets any worse.
The most tell-tale sign of periodontitis is bleeding gums. You may not feel anything other than a bit of tenderness when you brush and floss. However, if you show visible signs of inflammation-like gingivitis-or bleeding that doesn’t clear up within two weeks of good home care, you should seek out the help of one of our gum specialists.
Let us know if you’re exhibiting any of the following symptoms:
- Bleeding gums
- Visible tartar buildup
- Gum recession
- Loose teeth
- Heavy plaque
- Red, swollen gums
- Bad breath
If you are, you likely need to undergo gum disease treatment with a periodontist.
The first step in gum disease treatment is a thorough assessment of your gum tissues. We’ll measure pocket depths around each tooth. X-rays will also be taken to evaluate bone loss throughout your mouth. Depending on the severity of the infection, we’ll explain what’s going on and the best way to treat it.
Mild to moderate gum disease is typically treated with a simple deep cleaning. Once tended to, we place you on a maintenance phase with cleans every 3-6 months. Our periodontist will continue to check on you to ensure recovery and adequate maintenance.
More aggressive periodontal conditions may call for adjunctive therapies such as bone grafting, pocket reduction or other surgical procedures. These measures help to prevent additional loss of support.
To prevent relapse, we’ll work with you carefully to adapt your home hygiene routine and maintenance schedule. It’s our mission to help you preserve your natural teeth as long as possible.
The relationship between your mouth and systemic health is extremely close. Active oral infections are known to affect the severity of underlying medical conditions, such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes and infertility. Consequently, treating your active oral disease can lessen the strain on your immune system to help improve overall wellness.
Why does gum disease play a role in the severity of other medical conditions? It’s likely due to the bacterial load and inflammatory response inside of your mouth. Numerous studies show that periodontal bacteria can transfer themselves into the bloodstream and increase inflammation throughout other parts of the body.
Dental plaque deposits are often found lodged in arterial walls, the lungs of people with respiratory diseases and even in the placenta and amniotic fluid in expectant women.
Don’t dismiss gum disease as something that is a natural part of aging. This active oral infection could be detrimental to your health.
Have Bleeding Gums?
For periodontal treatment, schedule a screening for gum disease today.