Diligent oral care forms a formidable defense against gum disease, but it’s not uncommon for gum infection to creep up on your oral health. Besides poor oral hygiene, smoking, dry mouth, stress, genetics, and certain medical conditions can put you at risk of periodontal disease. Given the ubiquitous nature of gum disease, it’s essential to remain vigilant and take proactive measures to prevent it from advancing.
Although gum disease is a severe condition, the good news is that it’s easily treatable when caught early. Dr. Evelyn Maggos and her dental team at Park Dental Care are happy to provide periodontal therapy to detect, treat, and prevent gum disease.
Understanding gum disease
The primary cause of gum infection is built-in plaque and tartar in your teeth and beneath the gum. When you fail to observe proper dental hygiene, food mixes with saliva and bacteria to form a sticky, clear film (dental plaque) on your teeth. Plaque begins forming hours after brushing and remains there until your next brushing.
If you don’t eliminate plaque, it calcifies into tartar that only a dentist can remove. You might think you’ve time to avoid tartar, but plaque only takes 48 hours to harden into dental calculus!
Plaque and tartar form optimal habitats for harmful bacteria to flourish. Once bacteria begin to thrive, they attack your gingival tissues, and soon periodontal pockets start forming around your teeth. Before you know it, your gum tissues start receding, and your teeth become loose and eventually fall out!
Early symptoms of gum disease
As mentioned, treating gum disease is easy when it’s detected early. So, it’s vital to keep your eyes peeled for the early symptoms of periodontal disease to seek prompt intervention.
The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. This doesn’t cause significant symptoms, so it’s easy to ignore it. Unfortunately, that’s where you fall into the trap of gum disease. When left untreated, gum infection “silently” causes irreversible damage, and you only realize it when it’s too late.
Healthy gums are pink, firm, and snugly fit around your teeth. Once periodontal disease sets in, this can change.
Here are the early symptoms of gum disease:
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing your teeth
- Puffy or swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Darkening gums
- Tender gums
- Receding gums
Early gum disease treatment
When we diagnose you with gingivitis, you can reverse the infection with diligent brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings. We may also prescribe a medicated mouthwash to keep your infection under control.
However, when you’ve mild to moderate periodontal disease, you need deep teeth cleaning to remove the plaque and tartar deep in your gums. Deep periodontal cleaning involves two procedures. During scaling, our dental team uses special tools to scrape away dental calculus between teeth and beneath the gum line. Root planing smoothens out your tooth roots to encourage reattachment of gum tissues and prevent future infections.
Periodontal therapy near me
When you fail to address gum disease early, the disease progresses into periodontitis which can only be remedied by surgical procedures.