Gum disease (Periodontitis) is a widespread problem and one which often sneaks upon us. In the early stages, there may be little or no symptoms, but if left untreated, it can cause all manner of problems.
Unfortunately, many people often underestimate the severity of gum issues and don’t act until it is too late. The last thing you want is a case of gingivitis, which is easily treated, developing into something like an abscess or a more severe dental problem.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Our mouths are havens for bacteria, and insufficient brushing can lead to a buildup of plaque and tartar, especially in hard-to-reach places. As we mentioned, in the early stages of gum disease, the symptoms might not be easy to notice, but if you see any of the following, you should mention it to your dentist:
- Red and swollen gums
- Bleeding gums while brushing
- Painful chewing
- Receding gums
- Painful chewing
- Sensitive teeth
If gum disease is allowed to continue unchecked, it may result in tooth extraction, damage to the surrounding bone and tissues, and increasing the risk of more serious complications such as heart and lung disease.
Basic oral hygiene is the frontline treatment that keeps gum disease at bay. Your daily teeth cleaning routine should include:
- Brushing twice daily
- Using an antiseptic mouthwash
When combined with regular dental visits, your risk of developing serious gum disease is limited, as your dentist will pick up any areas of concern during routine checkups. They will then recommend methods of brushing and other dental products to stop the disease from spreading further.
If your initial problems develop into periodontal disease, other treatments will have to be considered. There are numerous non-surgical techniques available, which can offer significant relief, and for those with more severe gum disease, advancements in periodontics have made treatment easier than ever.
Scaling and Planing
This form of deep cleaning is usually the first line of treatment for periodontitis. It is a non-surgical procedure that involves removing tartar, plaque, and bacteria from under the gum line and at the root of the tooth.
The dentist will then smooth the root, creating the perfect conditions for the gum to heal, which combined with good dental hygiene should significantly reduce the symptoms of gum disease.
As we mentioned above, more severe forms of periodontitis can result in damage to the teeth and surrounding bones and tissues. In these cases, the dentist will recommend surgical intervention.
Flap surgery, bone and tissue grafts, and dental implants are all possible forms of surgery that your dentist might opt for. Which surgery you will need is very individualized, so your treatment will depend on the extent of the damage.
This latest development in periodontics means a shorter treatment and recovery time, which is of particular value to people who are scared of sitting in the dentist’s chair.
Laser periodontal therapy allows the dentist to target the affected gum tissue in a more invasive way but with much less invasive techniques, which limits the pain associated with traditional procedures.
Need More Information?
Getting regular dental checkups is vital to the health of your teeth, so if it has been a while since your last one, give us a call today.