Periodontal (gum) disease affects more than half of American adults. The early stages are characterized by blood when you brush and floss or inflamed, puffy gums. If you notice these signs and symptoms, it’s important to get proper periodontal care right away. Early intervention can completely eliminate the disease and prevent permanent damage to your mouth. At Morrison Cosmetic & General Dentistry, we use modern dental tools and treatments to fight back against periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease refers to an infection of the gums caused by poor oral hygiene. Bacteria, plaque, and tartar will begin to build up between your gums and teeth if you do not brush and floss properly. Over time, this causes the infection and inflammation of the gum tissue.
Left untreated, periodontal disease can destroy your gums and your teeth. It’s important to maintain proper at-home oral care, and to get help from a dentist if you believe you may have periodontal disease.
Minor cases of gum disease (often called gingivitis) have relatively innocuous symptoms. You may notice issues like bleeding when brushing and flossing, halitosis (bad breath), and inflammation and discoloration of the gums.
As the disease progresses, the signs and symptoms get much worse. Your teeth may start to look longer due to gum recession. You may also feel sensitivity to temperature and pressure due to gum recession exposing the roots of your teeth. You may even experience changes in how your teeth fit together and notice that your teeth are becoming loose.
If you notice any of the above symptoms, you need to get help from a dentist right away to prevent further damage to your mouth.
The first stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. This stage of gum disease is completely reversible and with proper care, you can completely eliminate the infection and restore your mouth.
However, if you don’t get care immediately, your condition will advance to the second stage, called periodontitis. In this stage of the disease, permanent damage is done to your gums and the support structures underneath your teeth. Periodontitis is irreversible. However, proper intervention can still help you save your teeth.
The final stage is usually called “advanced periodontitis.” In this stage of the disease, your teeth and gums may be so damaged that your teeth cannot be saved. You may need to have them extracted and replaced.
Scaling & root planing (deep cleaning) is the most common treatment for periodontal disease. It involves using special dental tools to clean between the teeth and gums, and to smooth the roots of the teeth to remove bacteria. Antibiotic treatments are also usually administered alongside deep cleanings to help fight back against bacteria.
In more severe cases, surgical intervention like gum flap surgery may be required to clean and disinfect the teeth. Gum grafting can also be used to restore your gum structure after it has been compromised by gum disease.