Gum disease (also called periodontal disease) is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. At each regular dental health check-up they will measure the depth of the shallow v-shaped crevice (called a sulcus) between your tooth and gums to see how healthy your gums are and if there is any sign of periodontal disease.
Gum disease, created by plaque, constantly forms on the teeth. These bacteria create contamination that can lead to gum disease.
Gum disease is classified according to the severity of the disease. The two major stages are gingivitis and periodontitis.
This is a rather common term that most people have heard. Basically what it means is it the beginning stage of gum disease. When you have gingivitis, your gums become red, swollen and bleed easily. Often the indication of this is you may see blood when you are brushing or flossing. The good news is if this is the extent of your periodontal disease, it is still reversible and can be treated successfully by gum disease treatment in our office and your continued conscientious daily brushing and flossing.
In the more advanced stages of gum disease, called periodontitis, the gums and bone that support the teeth become damaged. Whereas healthy gums and bone anchor teeth firmly in place, infected gums due to gum disease can cause teeth to become loose, fall out or have to be removed. Gum disease treatment in the early stages is crucial to avoiding these negative effects of gum disease.
What are some of the reasons gum disease develops?
Tobacco smoking or chewing is a large contributor to periodontal disease. If you haven’t quit yet, consider it now.
Physical conditions such as diabetes and pregnancy can often contribute to gum disease. Some medications can contribute to periodontal disease. These medications include: steroids, some types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives. Some repairable dental issues such as dental bridges that need to be refitted, crooked teeth and fillings that are no longer viable can contribute to gum disease.
If you notice any of the following signs of gum disease, let them know immediately so they can partner with you about gum disease treatment:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
- Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Any change in the fit of partial dentures
It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and examinations for possible gum disease treatment are very important. Gum disease treatment methods depend on the type of gum disease and how far the condition has progressed.
Good oral hygiene at home is an essential first step for gum disease treatment. It helps keep gum disease from becoming more serious or recurring. You don’t have to lose teeth to gum disease. Brush regularly, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular cosmetic dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Call today!