As early stages of gum disease might not even present any symptoms, information and regular dental visits will help you prevent it.
Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that involves potential damage to the teeth and the jawbone that supports them. A common condition, gum disease affects more than half of the adult population.
There are two main stages of gum disease: 1. Gingivitis is an early stage, when plaque caused by remaining food particles and bacteria irritates your gums. Good hygiene habits, regular check-ups and professional scaling can keep this at bay. Failing to treat gingivitis leads to periodontal disease.
2. Periodontitis is an advanced stage of gum disease, where small pockets containing hardened plaque form in your gums, causing further irritation that may spread to the jawbone. Over time, gums and bone may recede and cause tooth sensitivity and loss. Although periodontal pockets aren’t reversible, appropriate treatment can stop its progress.
SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES
The first signs of gum disease are redness, swelling and bleeding when brushing your teeth. As gingivitis may not be painful, regular check-ups with your dentist will help you spot it on time. If you already have periodontitis, you may experience a bad taste in your mouth, loose teeth or abscesses.
Gum disease is a consequence of plaque building up on your teeth. Difficulty when performing oral hygiene routines can make you prone to accumulate plaque. If you have a particular predisposition to gingivitis you might want to straighten your teeth with invisible braces. However the cost of clear braces is higher than that of traditional braces, it allows optimal hygiene standards for your teeth.
Smoking, suffering from diabetes or experiencing hormonal changes, as well as some over-the-counter teeth whiteners can also prompt gum disease.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
During the course of a dental exam, your dentist will ask you whether you have any symptoms of gum disease and will check if your gums have pulled away from your teeth.
If you are diagnosed with gum disease, the treatment will depend on which stage you are in. Scaling is usually performed as treatment, however more extensive in the case of periodontal disease, which also needs monitoring of the size of periodontal pockets.
Gum surgery is only required in rare and very severe cases. However, you might need to get dental implants for decayed tooth if it’s worsening your condition or if the tooth has fallen out or needs to be extracted.
Controlling the amount of plaque that builds up in your mouth is essential to prevent gum disease. Brush and floss properly and get professional hygiene treatment at least once a year. Having regular check-ups with your dentist will ensure you identify the condition in its early stages, while quitting smoking is one of your best moves to prevent it.
If you are concerned about gum disease, book a consultation at Perfect Smile today for the best dental advice and care.