One of the major causes of tooth loss in adults is gum disease. Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused by the infection and destruction of the soft tissue that surrounds, supports, and protects teeth. The gums also help to protect us from harmful bacteria in the mouth, serving as a barrier for the bloodstream.
Gum disease can lead to other major health problems, so it is important to treat teeth and gums properly before symptoms persist. As gum infection progresses, pockets can form between teeth, loosening them or causing them to fall out. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults and should be treated as soon as possible
The Stages of Gum Disease
There are multiple stages of gum disease. With the earlier stages, the symptoms aren’t very noticeable. This is why gum disease is so prevalent in adults. If you’re noticing that your gums are bleeding frequently, like multiple times a week, it’s time to check in with your dentist.
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease, and it’s the only stage that’s reversible. It occurs when you have plaque buildup on the teeth along the gumline, irritating the gum tissue. Most of the symptoms of this are painless, which is why monitoring bleeding gums is important. Diligent brushing, flossing, dentist visits, and possibly antibacterial mouth rinses can reverse this stage of gum disease.
Mild Periodontal Disease
At this stage, gum disease is no longer reversible. Pockets filled with bacteria and debris begin to form between your gums and teeth, and the gums start to pull away from the bone. The more aggressive bacteria start to contribute to bone loss. Scaling and root planing are required at this stage to manage the infection. We clean out those gum pockets and smooth down the tooth roots so that they can reattach to the gums.
Moderate Periodontal Disease
The third stage is also managed with scaling and root planing. Not only do the bacteria attack your bones, but they attack your bloodstream too.
Severe Periodontal Disease
At the final stage, the infection has completely evolved into bacteria that cause disease. Your gum pockets are extremely deep and your teeth may become loose or even fall out. Your gums become swollen and filled with pus, causing them to ooze and give you severe halitosis. At this stage, surgery or laser gum therapy are the only options to manage it.
Common Signs of Gum Disease
Know the warning signs of gum disease before it takes hold:
- Bleeding gums after brushing and flossing
- Swollen or red gums
- Receding gums
- Deep pockets forming between teeth
- Loose teeth
- Shifting teeth
- Gum and teeth separation
- Halitosis, or persistent bad breath
If you have noticed these symptoms, we can help with effective restorative dentistry. Gum disease is not just a problem for your gums and teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease can affect the heart. Periodontitis exacerbates heart problems like heart disease, strokes, strokes, and heart attacks.
Early gum disease or gingivitis can often be treated conservatively and managed through anti-bacterial rinses and lifestyle adjustments as needed. Routine dental care is important for the maintenance of gum health, providing the opportunity for Dr. Patel to spot the early signs of gum disease and to offer personalized advice for avoiding gum health problems.
Antibiotics can help remove bacteria that cause infection, but when an infection is severe they may not be enough. Periodontitis is managed through these common surgical and non-surgical methods:
Scaling and Root Planing: These two separate treatments for gums are often used in combination to help clean gums and treat gum inflammation. Scaling is a deep cleaning treatment that goes beneath the gum line to remove plaque and tartar. Root planing smooths out tooth roots to help gums reattach to teeth.
Gum graft surgery: We take tissue from another area in the mouth and use it to cover your tooth roots. Gum grafting prevents tooth loss in the later stages of gum disease.
Flap surgery: The gums are lifted and tartar is cleaned from beneath them during flap surgery. This treatment can address deep gum pockets.
Real Patients, Real Results
Gum Disease FAQs
Does Laser Periodontal Therapy hurt?
One of the biggest advantages of laser therapy is that it is a pain free procedure. In some cases anesthesia is used to keep patients comfortable throughout laser procedures, but there is rarely pain associated with laser procedures.
How long does periodontal treatment take?
Periodontal treatment typically takes around 2 hours from start to finish. Patients are typically sedated for periodontal therapy. In some cases patients may only use an anesthetic.
Will I lose my teeth if I have periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss overtime. Gum diseases can progress and damage soft tissue, which directly affects the root that connects to your teeth. This may lead to patients needing to have their tooth extracted, or loss of teeth.
Schedule a Dental Exam & Periodontal Consultation
Have you noticed any of the common signs of gum disease? Call Best Dental Spa for treatment at 847.660.6603, or request a dentist office visit with Dr. Patel online.