Signs of Gum Disease
Gum disease is a very common condition that impacts a lot of adults in the United States. In fact, approximately 42 percent of adults in the United States over the age of 30-years-old have gum disease. This is a common condition that causes the gums to become infected, sore, or swollen. One of the worst things that you can do is simply ignore periodontal disease. As soon as you notice any signs of gum disease, you should schedule an appointment with a periodontist to get the treatment you require.
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What are some of the common signs of gum disease?
Gum disease can progress slowly. As there is typically not any pain, to begin with, people do not tend to act quickly, and this is the big problem! The sooner you act, the easier gum disease will be to treated. This is why we recommend scheduling an appointment with a periodontist as soon as possible.
So, what are the common signs of gum disease that you should be looking out for?
- Changes in the way in which your teeth fit together when you bite down or in the fit of your partial dentures if you wear them
- Shifting or loose teeth
- The formation of deep pockets in between your gums and teeth
- Receding gums
- A persistent bad taste in the mouth or bad breath
- Swollen, red gums - when gums are healthy, they are firm and pink
- Gums that bleed after tooth brushing or whenever you brush your teeth
These are some of the main signs that you should look out for when it comes to gum disease. If you notice any of these signs, even if they only seem subtle, it is better to schedule an appointment sooner rather than later.
What causes gum disease?
Ultimately, gum disease arises because of plaque build-up on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance, which contains bacteria. While some of the bacteria in plaque do not cause harm, other bacteria can be damaging to your gum’s health. If the plaque is not removed, it will build up and get worse. This results in redness, with soreness, swelling, and bleeding.
If gum disease is not dealt with quickly, complications can arise. Gum disease becomes a bigger problem when it turns into periodontitis. The complications that can arise here include loose teeth, receding gums, painful collections of pus, and loss of teeth. This is the last thing we want to happen to you, which is why we recommend that you schedule an appointment with a periodontist as soon as you notice any of the signs of gum disease that we have mentioned.
Understanding the difference between periodontitis and gingivitis
A lot of people use the terms gingivitis and periodontitis interchangeably, yet they refer to two different conditions. Gingivitis is gum inflammation, whereas periodontitis is gum disease. Gingivitis comes first, and it can end up becoming gum disease if you do not take action.
Almost everyone will experience gingivitis at some point. However, the symptoms tend to be very mild, and so they are easy to ignore. If you do not have treatment, it can result in bigger issues for your mouth. The good news is that gingivitis can be fairly easy to reverse. All you need to do is practice good oral health for this to happen. You simply need to floss, brush your teeth, and enjoy regular dental checkups and cleanings. You should also make sure you use a good mouthwash too. The little things make a big difference when it comes to oral health.
How will we diagnose gum disease?
When you schedule an appointment at our office, we will carry out a dental exam to determine whether or not you have gum disease. There are a number of different things that we will look out for when it comes to determining whether or not you have periodontal disease.
This includes the following:
- Looking at your jawbone to see if there is any breakdown of the bone around your teeth.
- Teeth sensitivity and movement, as well as the correct alignment of your teeth.
- Gum firmness, swelling, and bleeding, as well as pocket depth. Pocket depth refers to the space between your teeth and your gums, meaning the deeper and larger the pocket, the more severe the gum disease.
The prevention and treatment of gum disease
If you have a mild case of gum disease, this can typically be treated by maintaining good oral hygiene, which is something we will educate you on. You should floss on a regular occasion, as well as brushing your teeth at least twice per day. You also need to ensure you schedule and attend regular dental check-ups. This will ensure that we are able to check on the progression of the disease, ensuring it does not get worse.
Your periodontist is going to be able to give your teeth a complete clean, which will involve removing any tartar. Tartar is plaque that has hardened, meaning it cannot be removed with regular teeth cleaning.
If your gum disease has reached the severe stage, further dental treatment is going to be required. In some cases, you may need to have periodontal surgery. This is something that Dr. Scharf will be able to advise on.
Contact us today if you have noticed any signs of gum disease
If you have noticed any signs of gum disease that we have mentioned or you are worried that you may be experiencing periodontal disease, please do not hesitate to contact us us for more information. We will be happy to schedule you for a consultation so that we can assess the condition of your gums and decide on the best treatment for you.