Gum disease is a common oral health condition. While this condition is common, there are many misconceptions about it. Some people mistakenly believe that the development of gum disease is associated with a person growing older.
Plenty of people enjoying their advanced years have healthy gums. Your periodontal (gum) health is important. After all, our gums, along with bone, are the support structures that keep our teeth intact. This is why our dentists offer periodontics – the evaluation of gum health and treatments that address diseased gingiva.
How Gum Disease Develops
Gum disease develops when the gums become inflamed to an irritating agent. This inflammation increases the likelihood of gums becoming infected when exposed to harmful oral bacteria. The most common contributor to periodontal disease is tartar accumulation. Tartar is a hard substance that cannot be removed by brushing and flossing. It must be gently scraped away with dental instruments.
As tartar accumulates – normally due to inadequate or improper oral hygiene – the gums will pull away from teeth as an inflammatory response. Over time, the roots of teeth will become exposed to the mouth’s irritants and bacteria. Since the roots are exposed, tartar will begin to accumulate around the root surfaces of teeth. As gum disease advances and destroys the supportive structures that hold teeth upright, patients have a higher risk for tooth loss.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Symptoms of gum disease can vary and early stages of gum disease might not produce noticeable symptoms to patients. Fortunately, there are some symptoms that appear commonly throughout various stages of periodontal disease:
- Tender or swollen gums
- Gums that bleed
- Gum recession
- Persistent bad breath
- Teeth feeling loose
- Changes in the color of the gums
The first step in periodontics is determining whether gum disease is present. Then a dentist or specialist will need to determine how advanced the condition is. We offer specialized cleanings called “scaling and root planing” that address infected gums and tartar accumulation. Scaling and root planing removes tartar and debris along the roots of teeth and deep within the gingiva.
Our practice also utilizes laser dentistry to treat gum disease. Lasers can remove infected gum tissue with minimal discomfort and a quicker recover time. Some patients might benefit from prescription mouth rinses and antibiotics, too.
For more information or to reserve an appointment, call us today at Newton Dental Group.