How To Spot And Treat Gum Disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums which can cause a range of symptoms and lead to serious oral health issues if left untreated. Therefore, it is important to recognize the signs of gum disease and seek treatment to maintain healthy gums and teeth. Here's what you need to know about gum disease and gum disease treatment.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection caused by bacteria that builds up on your teeth and gums over time. The bacteria can form a sticky film called plaque that accumulates along the gum line, causing irritation and inflammation. If left untreated, gum disease can progress from mild gingivitis to advanced periodontitis, leading to tooth loss and other oral health problems.
What Are Signs of Gum Disease?
There are many signs of gum disease, including:
- Swollen or tender gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Receding gums (your teeth may look longer than usual)
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth or gums
- Bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth
Your dentist or dental hygienist will likely notice the early signs of periodontal disease when you schedule regular visits. However, if you notice any of these symptoms in between appointments, it's important to see a dentist right away for an evaluation.
What Are the Treatment Options for Gum Disease?
If you are diagnosed with gum disease, there are a number of treatments available depending on the severity of the infection, including:
- More frequent cleanings. Your dentist may recommend professional cleanings more often than you would normally receive them to remove plaque buildup and reduce inflammation in the affected area. While it is common knowledge that bi-annual visits are common, your dentist may prefer more frequent appointments with your hygienist to fight the progress of the disease.
- Antibiotics. In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to get rid of any remaining bacteria in the mouth.
- Surgery. Additionally, your dentist may suggest surgery to remove damaged tissue around the affected area or reconstruct damaged structures.
Gum disease is one of the most common dental problems, and it's important for dental patients to recognize its symptoms early. By understanding what causes this condition and being aware of its warning signs, you can take steps toward preventing it with early treatment. If you think you might have gum disease, schedule an appointment to talk with your dentist today.