Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a common problem that can lead to a variety of long-term issues with your teeth, including tooth loss. If you have symptoms of gum disease, you should consult with a periodontist. The earlier periodontal disease is diagnosed, the easier it is to restore your gums to health.
Causes and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Gum disease occurs as a result of poor dental hygiene. Bacteria build up around the base of the tooth, just under the gum line, and cause inflammation and infection. Certain risk factors such as dry mouth, pregnancy, and smoking can also contribute. Regular brushing and flossing dramatically decreases the likelihood of periodontal disease. You should also be sure to see your dentist regularly, since she will be able to detect the earliest symptoms by measuring the pockets between your gums and teeth.
In its earliest stages, gum disease can go unnoticed, as it produces few immediately obvious symptoms. If you notice any of these issues, though, be sure to talk to your dentist:
- Bleeding when you brush your teeth
- A bright red or purplish color to your gums
- A shiny look to the gum tissue
- Swollen gums
If your dentist diagnosis gum disease, he will probably refer you to a periodontist for further treatment.
Treating Periodontal Disease
A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in treating the gums. She will evaluate your teeth and gums, determine the severity of your gum disease, and recommend treatment. Common treatments for gum disease include:
- Planing and scaling—a deep-cleaning treatment
- Gum surgery to remove infected tissue
- Gum grafts to replace tissue that has either receded or been surgically removed
If gum disease is diagnosed in early stages, treatment is less invasive. If it has progressed and become serious, though, surgery and tissue grafting can be necessary to prevent eventual tooth loss. After treatment, it’s important to take diligent care of your gums so they will remain healthy.
If you have questions about the health of your gums and mouth, contact our office today at Metro Dental Health!