About gum disease & gingivitis
Gum disease is a category of oral disease that can include varying degrees of severity. The most common and milder form of gum disease is called gingivitis. This means the patient is developing inflammation and possible infection in their gums. It’s usually caused by lack of good dental hygiene, and also becomes more common with age. Other risk factors include smoking, poor diet and family history. Gingivitis is usually noticed when gums become irritated, red or pinker than usual, swollen, and they may bleed when you brush or floss. Gingivitis happens when plaque builds up on your teeth and isn’t properly removed through brushing and flossing. Eventually, it turns into tartar, which will require a professional cleaning to remove. The plaque and tartar trap food particles and bacteria, which lead to infection and decay in your mouth. Bad breath is another sign you may have gingivitis or periodontitis.
If you have gum disease symptoms, make an appointment with us to begin treatment — early treatment can stop it from progressing to a more serious state.
The more severe form of gum disease is called periodontitis, and means that the inflammation and infection extends into the gum tissue below the gumline and may also be affecting teeth and bone tissue in the area. Left untreated, periodontitis leads to painful gum and tooth infections, and the possible loss of your teeth. However, it’s also simple to control and treat with good preventative measures and a combination of in-office and at-home care.
What to expect from gum disease treatment
The best treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the disease. Your dentist and dental hygienist will evaluate you for gum disease and recommend the appropriate treatment for either gingivitis or periodontitis.
If the disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, and no damage has been done, one or two regular cleanings will be recommended. You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits and having regular dental cleanings to prevent gingivitis from recurring or progressing.
In periodontitis, pockets of bacteria and plaque form below the gumline, against the roots of your teeth, and begin to damage them. These pockets form when unhealthy gum tissue pulls away from the teeth due to infection. If the disease has advanced to periodontitis, a deep-cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing will be recommended. In this procedure, tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed through scaling above and below the gum line, and rough spots on root surfaces are planed smooth. This procedure allows your gum tissues to heal in the absence of the plaque and tartar, and allows the pockets of bacteria and decay around your teeth to shrink back to normal.
For periodontitis patients, medications, medicated mouth rinses, and an electric toothbrush may be recommended to help control infection and speed healing.
Gum Disease Health Effects
If you are seeing any of these signs and symptoms of gum disease, it’s important to call for an appointment as soon as possible. In addition to tooth and gum issues, untreated gum disease has also been linked to other health conditions. According to the Mayo Clinic, the inflammation and levels of bacteria that are associated with severe periodontitis can contribute to various other diseases, including:
- Infection of the heart’s inner lining
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Pregnancy Complications
There are also some conditions, such as Diabetes and Osteoporosis, that can lower the body’s resistance to infection and potentially cause gum disease to advance more quickly. During your consultation, our team will discuss your medical history with you so we can develop the best treatment plan for your specific needs.
Although gum infection does not always lead to these serious conditions, seeking gingivitis treatment or periodontitis treatment is something that should not be put off until symptoms get worse. The earlier we are able to begin treatment, the better your chances of not developing any serious complications due to untreated gum infection.
Experience the Moore & Pascarella Difference
If you’re experiencing signs of gum disease, contact us today to schedule a consultation and get started on your journey to a cleaner, brighter, healthier smile. Our caring and dedicated team is highly experienced in the treatment of gingivitis and periodontitis, and after thorough diagnostics and x-rays, we will go over your treatment plan with you and help you take care of your teeth and gums with follow-up appointments and at-home guidance.