Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a gum infection that damages the soft gum tissue. Without treatment, the infection can erode the bone that supports your teeth, causing tooth loss. Thankfully, there are many treatment options so you do not lose any permanent teeth.
Hamilton Mountain Dental Group‘s team of dental professionals know how important your oral health is. This article will cover the signs, symptoms, and treatments of gum disease so you can keep your oral health on track. We hope to put your mind at ease and help you get the treatment you need!
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontitis (also known as gum disease) does not just happen overnight. The bacteria on your teeth and gums build up, causing inflammation of the gums. The soft gum tissue around the teeth will be inflamed and look irritated and red when this happens. Swollen gums is your body’s way of trying to protect itself from infection, and it is one of the most common signs and symptoms that you are developing gum disease.
The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is when bacterial plaque is not removed from your teeth or gums as often as it should be. If gingivitis goes untreated, then it can progress into periodontal disease. If gingivitis is left untreated, the bacteria on your gums and teeth can negatively impact your gum tissue and spread to the bone and other supportive tissues. The gums pull away and form pockets, which later become infected. Anyone with advanced periodontal disease may experience loose teeth that require removal surgery.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs of gingivitis and periodontitis can be hidden under other small health problems like swollen gums and constant bad breath. Here are the signs you should watch for:
- Bad breath
- Gum inflammation
- Sensitive teeth
- Tartar buildup
- Rapid loss of gums
- Bad breath
- Bleeding or receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Pockets of pus forming in gums
Early Periodontal Disease Treatments
Gum disease is a serious concern for many people because it can cause serious health problems. If you believe you have periodontitis and are wanting to treat it, the first thing you should do is visit your dentist. A dental professional will provide the best advice on what steps you can take to reverse periodontitis.
Visit Your Dentist For A Professional Cleaning
Visiting a dental professional should be the first step in reversing gum disease. A professional cleaning will remove harmful plaque and tartar that you may miss by brushing and flossing. A patient should schedule regular dental checkups to ensure that their teeth are professionally cleaned once every six months to maintain good dental care. A dentist will also notify their patients if they believe that they are at risk of developing severe gum disease.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
The best way to prevent periodontal disease from worsening is by brushing thoroughly twice a day with a fluoride-based toothpaste and a toothbrush designed for sensitive gums. When you brush your teeth, it cleans harmful bacteria away from the teeth and gum line. Fluoride fights against cavities by strengthening enamel and removing harmful bacteria.
Patients should make a flossing and rinsing schedule during one of their oral care routines, whether it’s in the morning or at night. Mouthwash will clean any bacteria from your teeth, gums, and mouth, protecting against harmful bacteria that could cause periodontitis. Mouthwash with fluoride is the best to reverse gingivitis and clean your mouth. Flossing at least once a day can also help remove debris right away, especially if you’ve been snacking on sugary foods.
A Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can help prevent gum disease because sugary foods can cause plaque to build up, cavities to form, and increased bacteria to sit in the mouth. Quitting smoking will also have a very positive effect on your teeth as tobacco can inflame gums, soften bone tissue, and increase your chances of infection and tooth loss.
Medications may be needed to fight any inflammation caused by gum disease. Visit your dentist to talk about your options for medication.
Severe Periodontitis Treatments
If brushing and mouthwash didn’t help, and your gingivitis progressed into periodontitis, there are other treatments available. A dentist can help get your mouth health back on track with either non-surgical and surgical treatment.
If you have a mild or new case of periodontitis, a dentist can do an intensive cleaning called scaling and root planing to scrape and remove any tartar and plaque from your teeth below the gum line. This will clear away any tartar and plaque that you can’t reach with your toothbrush.
Laser therapy is another option to reverse the impacts of periodontitis. The laser works to seal periodontal pockets and decrease swelling. Many dentists recommend this method because it is less anxiety-inducing for patients, heals faster, and causes less mouth trauma.
Advanced periodontitis that is causing pockets in the gums or the loss of any teeth will need to be treated with surgical methods like gum grafts and pocket reduction procedures. A professional will carefully complete this procedure to reconstruct receding gums and reverse gum disease.
Brush Thoroughly and Visit The Dentist Often
There are many ways to treat gingivitis and periodontitis as long as they are found early. It is important to visit your dentist frequently so you can catch any signs as soon as possible. When the signs are found earlier, it is easier to reverse gum disease and improve your overall oral health. Hamilton Mountain Dental Group highly recommends regular dental checkups to ensure that any signs of gingivitis and periodontitis are found early. Regular cleanings can help prevent your gum disease from worsening.
One of the most important factors to reversing gum disease and gingivitis is by maintaining good oral hygiene. Patients should create a strict oral hygiene routine where they brush their teeth twice a day, and floss and rinse once. This routine will take care to remove any bacteria from their teeth, gums, and mouth, thus preventing gum disease from worsening.