Proper oral care isn’t only about your teeth. It’s also essential to care for the gums that hold your teeth in place. Otherwise, you can develop gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, which impacts the health of your mouth and your overall state of health.
It’s possible that you already have signs of this common problem. Keep reading to learn more about it, or feel free to make an appointment to get your gums checked at our Beavercreek, OH dental office. Call (937) 429-1761 or request an appointment through our website.
What are Symptoms of Gum Disease?
You could have gum disease if you show certain symptoms of it. These include sensitive or loose teeth, pain when chewing and continuous bad breath. Also, the gums can be tender, red, swollen, bleeding and/or receding so the teeth look longer. In time, you could lose your teeth. Nonetheless, many of these symptoms come when gum disease is more advanced. You could have an earlier form known as gingivitis, which comes with fewer symptoms and is generally characterized by swollen, red gums that bleed during oral care.
When you have gum disease, it means you have an infection of the gum tissue. This problem tends to be preventable and caused by not taking care of your oral health properly through regular brushing and flossing. Yet, some factors can increase the risk, including smoking, diabetes and certain illnesses or medications.
The only way to know for sure if you have gum disease is to get an evaluation with a dentist. Your dentist can diagnose you and provide treatment if needed. Also, a dentist can stop the progression of gum disease so a mild form doesn’t turn into a more severe case. If you don’t have gum disease, a dentist can help prevent it through regular cleanings and guiding you on self-care.
Gum Disease Treatment
The milder form of gum disease, gingivitis, can clear up more easily than advanced periodontal disease. Gingivitis can generally be reversed through your own good oral care, including thorough, consistent brushing, flossing and potentially mouthwash. Nonetheless, it helps to get a good cleaning from your dentist, and you may need the dentist to remove plaque and tartar buildup.
The first step for treating gum disease is scaling and root planning (SRP), a noninvasive technique that involves scraping the plaque and tartar from the teeth and roots and removing root roughness to prevent future buildup. This should help the gums attach to the teeth without pockets or receding. If you need further treatment for gingivitis or more advanced periodontal disease, you may have one or more of these procedures:
Pocket Reduction: If SRP is not enough and the gums aren’t reattaching to the teeth properly, the next step is to have minor surgery. The dentist pulls back the gums, clears out bacteria and improves the bone surface to encourage the gums to reattach.
Gum or Bone Grafts: If you do not have enough gum tissue in a certain area to cover the tooth root, the dentist can take tissue from a different spot and use it to cover receded areas. This is known as a gum graft. A separate procedure you may need is a bone graft. This is necessary when gum disease has deteriorated the jaw bone. Your dentist removes bacteria and adds natural or synthetic bone and proteins that stimulate tissue to the area, encouraging the growth of new bone and tissue.
After treatment, it’s important to have consistent follow-up with your dentist and to care for your mouth thoroughly. This will help prevent gum disease from forming or worsening going forward.
Get Checked for Gum Disease
If you live in the Beavercreek, OH area, we can evaluate your mouth for gum disease at Dr. Marc Family Dental. If needed, we’ll provide treatment to stop your gum disease and improve your health. To make your appointment, call (937) 429-1761 or contact us online.