Don’t Let Gum Disease Get Ahead Of You
- January 21, 2016
Have your gums ever started to bleed while you were flossing or brushing your teeth?
Your answer is probably yes, if you are like most people.
You may not have realized that bleeding could be symptom of gum disease. There’s a good chance that you may have gum disease right now. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of Americans 30 years and older have some form of gum disease.
If you are lucky, this is in the early stages, which is more easily treatable and even reversible.
If you have more advanced gum disease, you may need professional treatment. That’s exactly what you can find at Gentle Dental Care in Plainville.
Keep reading to learn the signs of gum disease and how we can treat it.
How Gum Disease Starts
Gum disease, which is also called periodontal disease, starts with the bacteria that live inside your mouth. These bacteria use things in the food you eat to form plaque.
Plaque can harden and turn into tartar. This can allow bacteria to infect your gums and cause your gum tissue to become inflamed.
This is a milder form of gum disease known as gingivitis. At this stage, your gums may begin to bleed easily. They can also become swollen or red.
One myth that some people mistakenly believe is that they can’t have gum disease if they don’t have cavities. That’s simply not the case. Gum disease can develop separately from tooth decay.
If you are coming to Gentle Dental Care for routine cleanings and examinations, we will recognize gum disease in these early stages. We also can remove the tartar (which you can’t really get rid with brushing and flossing) from your teeth.
At that point, you can reverse your gum disease by being more aware of your oral care.
How Gum Disease Develops
The early stages of gum disease can develop without causing any pain. As a result, you may not take it as seriously as you should, and your gum disease could get worse.
With more advanced gum disease (known as periodontitis), the symptoms are more noticeable.
Your gums may start to pull away from your teeth. This is called gum recession.
This creates pockets where bacteria, plaque, and tartar can build in places that you can’t reach with basic oral hygiene or even the basic treatments you receive during a routine cleaning.
You may start to notice a bad taste in your mouth (and people near you may notice your bad breath). You could start to see pus between your teeth and gums, and your gums could become tender or sore.
If for some reason, you still don’t seek treatment, your teeth may start to feel loose and could even fall out.
The best way to stop gum disease is prevention. This is why we encourage you to brush twice a day, to floss daily, and to visit our office for routine care.
For the sake of discussion, let’s assume you haven’t been brushing and floss like you should, and your gums have reached the periodontitis stage.
One of the first treatment options is known as scaling and root planing. During this procedure, the dentist or hygienist will get under your gumline to remove plaque and tartar that have formed around the roots of your teeth.
You also may receive antibiotics to help kill the infection.
In more serious cases, we have to use invasive treatments, such as one or more of the following kinds of surgery:
➤ Extraction — Advanced gum disease may mean some of your teeth are infected and can no longer be saved. Extraction may necessary to protect the rest of your mouth.
➤ Flap procedure — In this procedure, we create an opening so we can reach the infected gum tissue. The dentist can then clean the diseased area more easily.
➤ Gingivectomy — This involves removing the diseased gum tissue from your mouth. We do this to remove the pockets between your gums and teeth.
➤ Gum grafts — In some cases, we may need to remove the diseased tissue from one part of your mouth and replace it with healthy tissue that has been transplanted from another part of your mouth.
Don’t Ignore The Signs
Remember to take preventive steps so you don’t develop gum disease. If you see signs of gum disease, act quickly to treat it. Acting fast will save you from more complex, costly, and invasive treatments.
With that in mind, call Gentle Dental Care at 860-479-2397 or use our online form to make an appointment if you don’t already have one scheduled.