Our goal has always been to help the people of Mountain View smile with absolute confidence. This achieve this goal, we have always offered the latest in restorative dentistry treatments as well as advanced cosmetic smile makeovers. Focusing on aesthetics and wellness is a recipe for great overall health.
Many patients neglect to think about their gums when it comes to dental wellness. Because of this, we want to take a look at gum disease and why patients really need to take better care of their gums.
What Is Gum Disease?
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is the infection of the gum tissue caused by oral bacteria. This is the bacteria that naturally occurs in the mouth and is also responsible for bad breath and tooth decay.
If left untreated, gum disease can result in a number of serious health issues, including tooth loss and infection of various structures of the mouth.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
It’s probably best to consider the various signs and symptoms of the different stages of gum disease individually.
Symptoms of gingivitis:
- Swollen gums
- Irritated gums
- Sensitive gums
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Gum discoloration
Symptoms of periodontitis:
- Serious gum swelling
- Serious gum discoloration
- Gum recession
- Bad taste in mouth
Symptoms of advanced periodontitis:
- Changes in tooth alignment
- Spaces between teeth
- Serious gum swelling
- Loose teeth
- Pus between teeth and gums
- Tooth loss
Given these symptoms it’s much easier to treat gum disease in earlier stages rather than later stages.
Treating the Infection and Inflammation
When it comes to treating gum disease, the first step is typically the treatment of the infection itself. This will usually involve the use of antiseptic rinses or antibiotics. This helps control the inflammation and allows other treatments to be performed in the process.
The ideal method of bringing the infection under control can be discussed in greater detail during the consultation process.
Treating the Damage to the Teeth and Gums
As noted above, gum disease can cause a number of problems to the teeth and gums if left untreated.
Treatments for Gum Recession – To address gum recession, the best option is typically soft tissue augmentation (aka gum grafting). This uses soft tissue in the mouth or gum grafts to help rebuild the gumline and improve dental wellness in the process.
Treatments for Tooth Decay – When tooth decay occurs below the gumline due to gum disease, there are many different dental restorations that may be used to help rebuild the damaged tooth structure, including fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns. Root canal therapy may be recommended if a root canal infection occurred because of the gum disease and tooth decay.
Treatments for Tooth Loss – For tooth loss that occurred because of gum disease, the ideal options are typically a dental bridge or dentures. Some patients may wish to consider dental implants to support these dental appliances. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots anchored into the jawbone and gum tissue, providing a stability of restorations that is comparable to natural tooth roots.
Tips for Gum Disease Prevention
To prevent gum disease, consider these simple tips for proper oral hygiene:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day (ideally after every meal)
- Floss your teeth at least once a day (ideally after every meal)
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash daily (ideally non-alcoholic)
- Do not smoke or use tobacco products
- Drink water to remain hydrated throughout the day
- Visit your dentist regularly for checkups
Learn More About Treating Periodontal Disease
For more information about gum disease, how it can be treated, and how you can prevent it, be sure to contact our advanced medical center today. Our team looks forward to your visit and discussing these issues with you in greater detail.