Gum Disease Symptoms
Taking care of your mouth is essential for protecting the health of your teeth and gums. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush twice a day, floss at least once a day, and have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined once every six months. These steps are crucial for keeping your whole mouth healthy. Skipping your oral care routine, even occasionally, can increase your risk of developing a serious issue called periodontal disease. If gum disease develops, West End Dental can provide you with treatment. However, how do you know if you have it?
What is Periodontal Disease and its Symptoms?
Periodontal disease, also commonly referred to as gum disease, is a condition that is caused by a bacterial infection. Bacteria irritate your gums, irritating the tissue and causing it to become inflamed. Without treatment, the condition only continues to worsen over time and can have serious dental and overall health consequences.
Red, Swollen Gums
When periodontal disease first begins, the bacteria irritate the gum tissue, causing them to become red. This irritation triggers an inflammatory response from your immune system, which causes the gums to swell. These symptoms, in addition to bleeding when you brush and floss, are the earliest warning signs.
Chronic Bad Breath
As your gums swell, the tissue begins to pull away from your teeth. This leads to the formation of periodontal pockets. These pockets collect plaque, bacteria, and food particles. The pockets are also difficult to clean properly. With an abundance of bacteria and food particles, you may be faced with bad breath that just will not go away no matter how often you brush, how much gum you chew, or how many mints you eat.
Bacteria inside periodontal pockets continue to attack the gums from the inside. This causes further swelling, which then causes the pockets to continue growing deeper. Eventually, the infected tissue begins to die off, which then leads to the gum line receding.
Gum recession can cause many issues. One of the most obvious effects of a receding gum line is the impact it has on the quality of your smile. Gum recession can also lead to small gaps forming between your teeth as well as root exposure. If the tooth roots become exposed, this can lead to tooth sensitivity.
Loose, Wobbly Teeth
As the periodontal pockets grow deeper, the bacteria can gain access to your periodontal ligaments and jawbone. When this happens, the bacteria begin to attack these structures, which causes them to worsen. Over time, the stability of your teeth is compromised, leaving your teeth feeling mobile. If your teeth are loose and wobbly, this can impact your bite, your ability to chew effectively, and the quality of your smile. If the issue progresses too far, your loose teeth can become so compromised that they either fall out on their own or need to be extracted.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
Periodontal treatments vary based on the severity of the condition. Common treatments for periodontal disease include:
|Prophylaxis, or a standard tooth cleaning.
|Scaling and root planing, or deep cleaning of your teeth.
|Pocket reduction surgery. This is done when the pockets are too deep to effectively clean with scaling and root planing. Osseous surgery may be required if the bone is affected as well.
|Soft tissue gum grafting. This surgical procedure is performed to restore a healthy, natural gum line.
|Bone grafting. This procedure is designed to restore missing bone mass, and is typically done to strengthen your jaw before implant placement.
If you notice any symptoms of periodontal disease, it is important that you seek treatment right away. Call West End Dental today to schedule your consultation.