Gum disease symptoms should not be ignored because early intervention gives you the best chance of recovery. Gum disease usually progresses in three stages, and it becomes worse over time. It begins with gingivitis, which can progress to periodontitis and ultimately to advanced periodontitis. Untreated gum disease results in tooth and bone loss and should be taken seriously for the sake of your future oral health. Regular dental check-ups can give you an early warning about the presence of gum infections and an opportunity for early intervention and treatment.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Gum Disease?
It is possible for gum disease to present without any symptoms, but many patients may experience a combination of the following signs and symptoms:
- Gums that are irritated and which bleed easily when flossing or brushing too hard
- Gums that are swollen or inflamed
- Receding gums
- A bad taste in your mouth or persistent bad breath
- Loosening teeth
Any gum discomfort should be reported to your dentist for investigation as soon as possible.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is the result of poor oral hygiene and it occurs when the plaque on the surface of your teeth is not removed by effective brushing and flossing. Remember that while it is your job to keep your teeth clean on a daily basis, you also need to make regular visits to your dentist.
We know that brushing and flossing twice a day may only remove some of the plaque that accumulates on the surface of the teeth and any plaque that isn’t removed by your toothbrush will harden and turn into tartar, which must be removed by your dentist with professional cleaning.
Tartar attracts more bacteria, which cause inflammation on and around your gums. Missing your dental check-ups means that the tartar build-up gets out of control, leading to infection.
Smokers and people who suffer from diabetes are at greater risk of periodontal disease. Quitting smoking, managing your diabetes and limiting your intake of sugary foods can help manage your risk factors.
What Are The Stages Of Gum Or Periodontal Disease
The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. It is typified by inflammation and redness around your gum line. It can cause some redness and swelling. If you get treatment at this stage, it is possible for it to be reversed.
The second stage of gum disease is periodontitis and during this stage, you may expect to see some gum recession, as well as the formation of a pocket below the gum line. This pocket harbours more bacteria. During the second stage of gum disease, the connective tissues and fibres that hold your teeth in place are destroyed. While these effects cannot be reversed, your dentist may be able to prevent further progression of gum disease from taking place.
When periodontitis has reached an advanced stage the supportive bones have been destroyed badly. This can cause the teeth in your mouth to loosen or even shift around in your mouth. In the event that you do get help from your dentist, an aggressive form of treatment may stop the gum disease from progressing further but it is quite likely that you will have to have teeth removed.
What Treatments Are Available For Periodontal Disease?
Containment and stopping the infection from progressing further is important. Professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar build-up is your first treatment option, depending on how far your gingivitis has progressed.
A deep cleaning will go below your gum line, unlike a regular professional cleaning which is usually done above the gum line. The process of tartar removal below the gum line is known as scaling. If your dentist needs to smooth out the rough tooth root surface, he or she will follow a process known as root planing. This is important for the roots of the tooth to be able to reattach to the tooth.
Depending on how severe the infection is, your dentist may also prescribe a course of antibiotics to help your body heal. If you are given antibiotics it is important that you finish the course.
Gum graft surgery
If you have severe gum recession it may be necessary to have gum graft surgery. This can help to cover up tooth roots to improve tooth sensitivity and prevent further decay and bone loss.
Are you presenting with early gum disease symptoms? Please don’t take a chance with your oral health; contact us immediately for an appointment: (02) 8776 3232.