The use of laser dentistry to treat a variety of dental issues has been commercially available since 1989. Lasers are a less painful and more efficient option than the drills and tools used in traditional dental treatment procedures. Many patients also feel more comfortable with the sounds and feel of laser treatment. Laser treatment options…
Signs of Gum Disease: What Your Mouth Is Telling You
Scheduling regular dental exams and practicing good oral hygiene habits are essential in order to prevent gum disease. This condition is caused by plaque buildup and bacterial infection. If caught early on, it is possible to reverse the damage. However, if left untreated, it can progress and lead to long-term and devastating dental issues. It is important to understand the signs of this problem so proper treatment can begin right away.
Dangers of gum disease
Diseased gums are not uncommon, but it is imperative to catch it in the early stages. Over time, it can lead to infection of not only the gums but also the teeth and jaw. This causes the teeth to become loose and eventually fall out, and the jawbone also loses its structure.
The bacteria that cause this disease can also get into the bloodstream, which means they can affect other parts of the body. People with advanced stages of gum disease are more prone to suffer from heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and respiratory disease.
Stages of gum disease
There are three stages of gum disease, and the signs and symptoms get more severe with each one.
In this early stage, symptoms may be mild or even non-existent. Plaque that builds up along the gumline attracts bacteria, which leads to inflammation of the gum tissue. Signs of gingivitis may include slightly red and swollen gums or bleeding after flossing or brushing.
At this stage, the bacteria have not moved to the bone or tissues, so any damage can be reversed. Treatment usually includes a professional cleaning, root scaling, and regular brushing and flossing.
If gingivitis is not properly treated, periodontitis is the next stage. At this point, damage begins to occur to the supporting bone and tissues. The bacteria penetrate between the gums and teeth, which cause gingival pockets. Manifestations at this phase of gum disease include:
- Pronounced gum inflammation
- Gum recession
- Bleeding gums
- Loose teeth
- Bone loss
At this stage, the disease is irreversible. In the earlier periods of periodontitis, treatment may include tooth scaling and planing, which does not reverse the disease but does prevent further damage. In later stages, when moderate bone loss occurs, surgical treatment may be necessary to stop the progression.
In this final stage, saving the affected teeth is almost impossible due to the severe infection. Signs include constant bad breath, exposed roots, pus drainage, severe bone loss, and drifting teeth.
If the teeth have not fallen out on their own, extraction may be necessary so the dentist can clean out the infection. Gum surgery is also often performed. This includes grafting of the soft and hard tissues.
People who suffer from gum disease must take appropriate steps right away to prevent further damage. Because symptoms may not be present until the infection has progressed, it is important to get regular dental exams so the dentist can diagnose the early stages and recommend the necessary treatment.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.
While veneers are technically considered cosmetic treatments, a cosmetic dentist may describe additional benefits to getting them added to the teeth. Dental veneers can both improve the look of the smile and help keep teeth healthy. These thin, customized shells cover the front of the teeth and can be customized to match the color of…
Few people realize how many common teeth issues can be addressed by a cosmetic dentist. Whether it is a feature of the appearance or trouble with biting and chewing, patients can find restorative and aesthetic treatments in cosmetic dentistry. This area of work focuses on improving an individual’s tooth aesthetics in regards to position, shape,…
Invisalign® is a gentler treatment for misaligned teeth. This dental straightening system needs dedication from its patients. The removable aligners guide the teeth into their correct positions. Most patients are still skeptical if the dentist handling the treatment can do the job. If you want to know if your Invisalign dentist can correct your crooked…