Anyone experiencing gum swelling, bleeding while brushing or loose teeth needs to consider that they may be experiencing early or advancing gum disease, something that can affect overall health.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease is an inflammation or infection of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth. The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis and it is the only stage that is reversible. Our dentists aggressively treat gum disease to help our patients restore and maintain their oral health.
There are several factors that can lead to periodontal disease, including:
- Poor dental hygiene
- Poor nutrition
- Genetic predisposition
- Poor tooth alignment
- Systemic diseases such as diabetes
It is important to remember that a healthy smile includes healthy teeth and gums. The bacteria in your mouth can attack your teeth’s enamel and attack the gum tissue and bone that hold your teeth in place.
You are not alone in dealing with bleeding or receding gums. Half of Americans over 30 have some form of periodontal disease. “Peri” means around and “dontic” means tooth; periodontal disease is another way of saying gum disease.
The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. It is the only stage that is reversible. Our dentists will examine your gums to ensure they are healthy and can continue to support your teeth for years to come.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
The bacteria in plaque and tartar can spread below the gum line and erode the tissues and bone that hold the teeth in place.
What Are Common Signs of Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease starts as a painless infection with few symptoms. But there are signs.
- Swollen gum tissues
- Gums pulling away from the base of your teeth
- Loose teeth or unexpected gaps between teeth
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Pockets of inflammation at the base of the gums
If you have any of these symptoms of gum disease, please call Towncare Dental today.
What Are the Types of Gum Disease?
Gingivitis is an early gum disease, but if it goes untreated, it can lead to periodontitis. As gum disease progresses, it breaks down the tissues and bones that support the teeth, causing the gums to separate from the teeth, creating “pockets.” More bacteria gathers in the pockets, leading to further destruction of your gum tissue and bone.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. And it doesn’t just affect your smile. Periodontitis has also been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and other diseases.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
Many people don’t realize that regular teeth cleaning, called a prophylaxis, only polishes the tooth above the gum line. To treat bacteria below the gum line, one of our dental professionals will use a technique called scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar from those periodontal pockets. It smooths the tooth root to remove bacteria. An antibiotic can also be applied, if needed, to treat the gum infection.
You may require more frequent teeth cleanings and periodontal maintenance to treat the infected areas and keep that gum disease from advancing.
If the bone supporting your teeth has already been destroyed due to periodontal disease, our dentist or a specialist, called a periodontist, may recommend a regenerative procedure like a bone graft, tissue graft, or tissue-stimulating proteins to regenerate tissue and bone.
What Can I Do at Home to Prevent Gum Disease?
The most effective way to prevent gum disease is to have your teeth cleaned by a professional at least twice a year – more if you require periodontal maintenance – and proper at-home oral hygiene. Brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day to prevent tartar build-up on your teeth and below your gum line.