Patients near Richardson, TX should know the symptoms of gum disease along with treatment options
Gum disease is a dental condition that affects millions of Americans, posing a serious risk to oral health when left untreated. In fact, most people will be affected by gum disease at some point in their life. In addition to impacting the wellbeing of your teeth and gums, gum disease can also increase the risk of other serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. At Perfect 32 Family Dentistry near Richardson, TX, we offer comprehensive dental care that includes the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. We utilize the latest dental technologies for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment to restore total health.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease is caused by a build-up of harmful bacteria along the soft tissue, typically because of ineffective oral hygiene. The bacteria thrive in plaque that accumulates on the teeth and gum line. Even patients who brush and floss regularly are susceptible to small amounts of plaque build-up, which can cause gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Therefore, it is important to be diligent about at-home oral care as well as maintaining routine dental visits.
There is good news, when gum disease is diagnosed in the early (gingivitis) stage, treatment can reverse the symptoms and restore oral health. However, when gum disease is left untreated, it will continue to progress and cause irreversible damage to the teeth, gums, and bone structure.
In its earliest stages, gum disease typically doesn’t cause any pain, which is why it’s often diagnosed after it’s already progressed to more advanced stages. During routine check-ups your dental care team will look for early signs of gum disease. Still, it is important to be on the lookout for the following symptoms of gum disease:
- Swollen, tender, or red gums
- Chronic bad breath or foul taste in the mouth
- Gums that bleed while brushing or flossing
- Pockets forming between the teeth and gum tissue
- Pain along the gum line
- Loose or shifting teeth
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to schedule an appointment as soon as possible for an evaluation.
Gum Disease Treatment
When gum disease is diagnosed, one of the most commonly recommended and effective treatment options is a deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing. During this non-surgical treatment, we can remove plaque build-up along the teeth and down the roots. Scaling and root planing is effective at eliminating bacteria to stimulate healing of the gum tissue and reducing the size of the periodontal pockets.
If the gum disease is more advanced, we may also recommend antibiotic therapy in addition to the scaling and root planing. Antibiotics will eliminate the bacterial pathogens present in the infection to allow the gum tissue to heal. We may recommend oral antibiotics, an antimicrobial mouth rinse, localized antibiotics, or a combination of the three, depending on how far the gum disease has spread.
If advanced gum disease has caused the tissue to recede down to the root, we may recommend gum grafting procedures to secure the tissue back around the teeth. In certain advanced cases, patients may require bone grafts.
If tooth loss has occurred because of gum disease, restorations such as dentures, bridges or dental implants may be used restore the smile.
Preventing gum disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is to be proactive about your oral health. This includes brushing twice daily, flossing every day, and using an antibacterial mouthwash. Individuals should also maintain routine dental exams and cleanings which allow us to identify signs of gum disease early when it is more easily treatable and allows us to remove any plaque buildup that could lead to gum disease in the future.
Other steps you can take to minimize the risk of gum disease include eating a healthy diet that’s low in sugary or starchy foods, quitting smoking, and drinking plenty of water.
To learn more about gum disease care in the Richardson, TX area, call Perfect 32 Family Dentistry today at (469) 863-7009 to schedule an appointment. Remember that early diagnosis and treatment is important when it comes to keeping your gums healthy.