When the gums in your mouth become inflamed and infected, it is typically a sign that periodontal disease is developing. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a serious condition that puts every patient’s mouth at risk for irreversible damage. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of natural tooth loss in adults. Unfortunately, most patients are not aware that they have periodontal disease because, in the earlier stages, they do not feel much pain or discomfort. When patients realize they have gum disease, it is often in later, more destructive stages of development. Visiting Dr. Kotecha and her associates of Dentistry On 10 regularly ensure that the detection of periodontal disease happens early enough for proper treatment to occur and reverse the condition.
Video: Understanding Gum Disease
What causes periodontal disease?
Gum disease starts with the buildup of plaque. Plaque is a form of bacteria that is sticky and can be removed with the brushing and flossing of the teeth. It can also be removed at the dental office. However, if you do not properly care for your teeth and remove this plaque, it can harden into tartar and continue to build up to the point where it creates toxins and damages the gum line and the teeth. When the disease continues to progress, it develops pockets that form between the gums and the teeth. This is where more bacteria, plaque, and tartar can build up and continue to damage your smile.
What are the stages of periodontal disease?
There are two stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
This beginning stage of periodontal disease is when the gums are swollen and red, and bleed when you brush or floss.
Gingivitis eventually advances into periodontitis if not treated, and the gums and bones are damaged. Teeth may become severely decayed and fall out in the later stages of periodontitis.
What makes me more susceptible to developing periodontal disease?
There are certain factors that can make a patient more at risk for developing gum disease which may include:
- The use of chewing tobacco or regular smoking.
- Use of Medication such as oral contraceptives, steroids, and cancer therapy drugs.
- Ill-fitting bridges or restorations.
- Teeth that are not properly aligned.
- Fillings that are old and not fitted properly.
- Pregnancy or other dramatic changes in hormones.
What are the signs of gum disease?
If you are developing periodontal disease, here are a few symptoms to watch for to determine if you need to visit Dr. Kotecha and her associates for treatment:
- Swollen, red, and inflamed gum tissue.
- Pockets appearing between the gums and teeth.
- Bad breath or unusual taste in the mouth that is not improved with brushing or mouthwash.
- Visible puss that develops between gum tissue and teeth.
- Adult teeth that are loose or shifting.
- Changes in the fit of restorations, dentures, and the alignment of the bite.
How can I treat periodontal disease?
There are several ways to treat gum disease. Most mild to moderate cases can be addressed with non-surgical methods, including professional deep cleanings, scaling and root planing, and the use of at-home periodontal trays. These are used by the patient every day at home to reverse the condition. Other methods include periodontal surgery or laser gum surgery.
How do I prevent gum disease?
In order to maintain a healthy smile free from periodontal disease, it is important that you visit your dentist regularly for maintenance check-ups, cleanings, and examinations. Periodontal disease is easy to catch early on when you know the signs and symptoms. You are encouraged to contact Dr. Kotecha and her associates of Dentistry On 10 if at any time you suspect that gingivitis or periodontitis is developing between regular dental appointments.