What is gum disease?
Gum disease is also known as gingivitis and periodontal disease. This condition is common, but it can have serious implications for patients’ health if it is not addressed and effectively treated.
Gum disease is an infection of the soft tissue surrounding your teeth. A majority of the time, it is caused from poor dental hygiene. If you do not brush twice a day and neglect regular flossing, you may be more susceptible to gum disease.
Other issues, such as smoking and a genetic proclivity to gum disease, could affect your chances for getting it. The important thing is to identify the presence of gum disease as early as possible so that treatment can begin and be as effective as possible.
How do I know whether I have gum disease?
There are several telltale signs and symptoms that you might have gum disease, including:
- Gum changes, such as gums that bleed when brushing and flossing, swollen gums, bright red or purple gums, gums that pull away from your teeth, and painful gums
- Pain, particularly when eating and chewing, or tenderness from gums when touched
- Bad breath, especially if the odor is new and different
- Pus between your teeth that you notice when flossing or brushing
- Spacing, such as gaps that develop between your teeth or changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or suspect that you might have gum disease, call the team at Garine & Boza Prosthodontics today to schedule an appointment.
What happens if gum disease is not treated?
If gum disease is not treated, it can lead to excessive bleeding, loss of gum tissue, loosened teeth, and even lost teeth. Some preliminary studies even suggest that untreated gum disease can impact the health of the rest of your body. It is important to both your oral health and your overall health that you take care of the issue.
What treatments are available for gum disease?
In mild cases, gum disease may be resolved with a thorough professional cleaning at the dentist’s office — as well as an improvement in oral health habits when the patient cares for their teeth at home.
In moderate cases, scaling and root planing may encourage gums to recover, and antibiotics delivered topically or orally can help address infections.
Serious cases of gum disease may require surgery to reduce the pockets in your gums, graft soft tissue to protect your teeth, encourage regrowth of tissue, and other approaches.