How To Get the Right Treatment for Your Gum Disease
What Gum Disease Is and How To Treat It in Each Stage
You may be in the earliest stages of developing gum disease if you’ve got swollen or irritated gums or gums that bleed when you brush your teeth. While this is no great cause for panic, it is something you’ll want to address because once the infection has become advanced, ignoring it will no longer be an option.
Gum disease is among the most common oral health issues in America, and this is likely because many people tend to ignore early symptoms (or refuse to floss) and let the issue continue to the point where the infection is no longer curable and can only be treated.
If you’d like to avoid developing gum disease or you’d like to learn how best to treat it, just take a look at this comprehensive guide.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease or periodontitis, is an infection of the gums that develops when bacteria is allowed to form in the mouth, typically due to a lack of good dental hygiene.
While it can begin with fairly mild symptoms, periodontal disease can eventually lead to dental abscesses, loose teeth, tooth loss, and potentially even complications with your overall health.
Fortunately, there are many effective ways to treat gum disease at every stage. Even if you’ve lost teeth, there’s still hope. Once the gums are treated and stable, your Newport Beach dentist can create a treatment plan for a full mouth restoration.
The Stages of Gum Disease
Periodontitis is something that becomes progressively worse over time unless it’s treated. The infection’s development can be broken down into three stages: gingivitis, gum disease, and advanced gum disease. Some details about each stage have been listed below.
This is the earliest stage of gum disease, and it’s the only one that is curable. Once the infection has progressed to periodontitis, only the symptoms can be treated. The symptoms of gingivitis are often mild and include everything from red, irritated gums and gums that bleed easily to bad breath and more.
Gingivitis is officially considered to have progressed to periodontitis when the infection spreads beyond the gum tissue and into the bone and other tissues that provide stability to your teeth. This creates spaces between the teeth and gums, also known as periodontal pockets.
The symptoms of gum disease are more severe than gingivitis. They include receding gums, increased tooth sensitivity, painful chewing, gaps developing between teeth, pus between the gums, and bad breath that won’t go away.
3. Advanced Gum Disease
If periodontitis goes untreated, the periodontal pockets become deeper, and bone and other tissues which support your teeth will begin to break down due to the bacteria being harbored there. Once this occurs, the infection is then considered advanced gum disease.
The risks of advanced gum disease extend past oral health and into the realm of overall health. Oral bacteria can begin to travel throughout the body and cause inflammation, raising your risk of issues like heart disease and diabetes.
Gingivitis Treatment Options
If you’ve been diagnosed with gingivitis, there are several ways to remove the bacteria causing the irritation and avoid gum disease.
1. Brush and Floss
More often than not, gingivitis is the result of poor oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing at least once a day can go a long way to not only treat the issue but also keep it from recurring.
Remember that flossing is crucial because everything your toothbrush can’t reach sticks near your gum tissue and can slowly develop into tartar, leading to gum disease.
2. Professional Cleaning
Seeing your dentist for a routine evaluation and cleaning every six months is another way to keep gingivitis at bay. This preventive maintenance helps remove buildup that has hardened to the teeth and slightly below the gumline, keeping your teeth and gums in optimal health.
3. Avoid Sugar
Sugar is what the bacteria in your mouth like to feed on, which promotes gum disease. Starve these bacteria out by avoiding, or at least limiting, sugary foods and drinks.
Gum Disease Treatment Options
If your gingivitis has progressed to periodontitis, don’t panic: You’ve got plenty of options for gum disease treatment.
1. Scaling and Root Planing
Your dentist or hygienist can use special instruments to clean tartar and bacteria from your mouth, including deep into the gum pockets the infection has caused. After that, they can smooth out the root surfaces with a technique called root planing.
Sometimes your dentist will recommend antibiotics to help fight the infection. This won’t be the only treatment but rather part of a multistep method of eliminating bacteria so the gums can heal and reattach.
Advanced gum disease can require surgical procedures in order to treat it properly. Flap surgery can help reduce the size of the pockets in the gums, tissue and bone grafts can help replace areas of the mouth destroyed by the infection, and other procedures can help to regenerate bone and tissue.
In need of a Newport Beach dentist?
Don’t ignore your sore or bleeding gums. Get the treatment you need to avoid periodontitis. Call Luminous Smiles to request an evaluation or go online to book your appointment today.