An estimated 80% of Americans suffer from some form of periodontal or gum disease. Luckily, if the condition is caught early, it is extremely treatable and even reversible.
The team at Infinity Dental of Fox Lake can diagnose and treat gum disease very easily through routine visits. Dr. Prendergast looks for the early warning signs of developing gum disease during all routine visits.
What are the signs of gum disease?
Some patients do not have obvious symptoms of gum disease and may not realize they have it until the later stages when damage to the gums affects the teeth or gums become significantly irritated. A tell-tale sign of gum disease is sore or bleeding gums.
Even with aggressive brushing, your teeth or gums should not bleed. If you have any of these common signs of gum disease, please contact Dr. Prendergast for an appointment:
Bleeding, red, swollen, or sore gums
Receding gums (teeth look longer)
Shifting of teeth or tooth loss
Constant bad breath
What causes gum disease?
Although there is no single factor contributing to gum disease, common causes include:
Poor oral hygiene
Smoking or tobacco use
Hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or menopause
Periodontal Therapy What to Expect
Gum Disease Treatment
The recommended treatment for gum disease is dependent upon the stage and severity of disease as well as any other factors impacting your dental health.
Dr. Prendergast takes a comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease to ensure a stable and lasting result. From personalized oral hygiene recommendations to referrals to a specialist in advanced cases, treatment is designed to restore gum health and avoid the permanent effects of this progressive disease.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease that is typically characterized by red, swollen irritated gums. This is the only stage that’s reversible. It is typically caused by bacteria in the plaque that builds up around your gums. If you’re bleeding or have sore gums due to gingivitis, a thorough cleaning to remove plaque can treat the condition.
Antibacterial washes may be recommended and consistent dental hygiene will prevent future buildup. These treatments are usually successful and will help avoid further infection and damage.
When left untreated, gingivitis will eventually develop into periodontitis. This is a more advanced stage of gum disease and it can’t be reversed at this point. The bacteria in the plaque actually cause the gums to become infected which will result in damage to the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth.
Scaling and root planing are usually used at this stage. The pockets that have begun to form at the gumline will get thoroughly cleaned out. Your tooth roots are smoothed down so that the gums can reattach properly to the bone.
Scaling and root planing are also the solutions for this more progressed form of periodontitis. More bacteria accumulate and begin attacking your bloodstream as well as your bone. The bacteria are able to get deeper into your body.
At this stage, the gum infection has completely evolved into a bacteria-causing disease. Your gums ooze pus, chewing is painful, and your teeth may be loose or falling out. At this point, the only treatment that can help is gum surgery.
Schedule a Dental Exam & Periodontal Consultation
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease or have not had a regular checkup in the past 6 months, make an appointment with one of the dentists at Infinity Dental of Fox Lake today. It is extremely important to catch gum disease early in order to prevent extensive treatment.
Gums do not recover from gum disease. Once your gums are damaged by periodontal disease they will not reform or grow back. Treating gum disease can prevent the issue from getting worse, but it will not help gums recover or heal any past damage.
Salt water rinses are commonly used to heal gum infection. Salt water rinse has been shown to be an effective way to soothe inflamed gums from gum disease. The combination of salt and warm water draws infection out of the gums.
Some patients with periodontal disease may end up losing some teeth. Periodontal disease is serious and can cause damage to soft tissue that may result in destruction of the bone supporting one’s teeth. This may cause teeth to become loose or fall out.