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 gum tissue. The condition can lead to other major health problems, so it is important to treat teeth and gums before symptoms persist.
Common Signs of Gum Disease
Some of the warning signs of gum disease can include:
- Gums bleeding 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, contact Premier Dental Care for a dental exam and treatment recommendations. Dental cleanings and periodontal treatment can be used to improve and protect your teeth and gums. For most patients, a single periodontal treatment procedure can have your gums back to great health.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is not just caused by poor oral hygiene. Other causes may include:
Hormonal Changes: During puberty, menopause, or pregnancy, gums can become more sensitive. Sensitive gums may develop gingivitis and periodontitis more easily than those that are not sensitive.
Medication: Certain medications can cause dry mouth, which decreases the amount of saliva in the mouth. Less saliva means less protection for teeth and gums, which can then become prone to gum disease.
Illnesses: Conditions like diabetes may make patients more susceptible to periodontitis because of blood sugar levels.
Gum Disease Treatment
Treatments for gum disease can include:
Scaling and Root Planing: Root planing is a deep cleaning method that goes under the gum line. Scaling can also be used to remove tartar from above and below the gum line. The rough surfaces of tooth roots are smoothed out during root planing to help gums reattach to your tooth.
Gum graft surgery: During this procedure, tissue is taken from another part of the mouth to cover tooth roots. Gum graft surgery may be necessary to prevent tooth loss. This treatment is usually reserved for patients with advanced periodontitis, where gum tissue has been severely degraded.
Flap surgery: The gums are lifted in this treatment to remove tartar from beneath them. Patients with deep gum pockets can benefit from this surgery.
Gum Disease FAQs
What if I don’t get treatment for gum disease?
Gum disease may lead to increased oral health problems, such as tooth loss, destroyed gum tissue, plaque buildup, chewing problems, and more. If left untreated, periodontal disease can affect your overall health, including your heart.
The buildup of plaque in the gums can affect your bloodstream because the same bacteria found in gums can travel to the heart through a compromised bloodstream. Periodontitis exacerbates heart problems like heart disease, stroke, and heart attack.
Is laser dentistry an effective way to treat gum disease?
Yes. Dentists have used dental lasers for quite some time to effectively and quickly treat gum disease. Laser dentistry is especially effective for patients with advanced stages of periodontitis, patients who do not need or want oral surgery, and patients who need quick treatment with little downtime.
Is gum disease contagious?
No. Gum disease is not a contagious, transmissible disease. Although saliva can spread the bacteria that cause gum disease, it occurs due to an inflammatory reaction to harmful bacteria. In essence, you can spread the harmful bacteria, but this does not mean the person you spread it to will develop gum disease.
What are the signs of severe gum disease?
Red, swollen, or tender gums can be an early warning sign of severe gum disease. Gums that bleed easily, especially when you brush or floss, are another sign. Persistent bad breath, receding gums, and tooth loss can signal more advanced gum disease. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your dentist or periodontist as soon as possible. Prevention is key.
When is it too late to reverse gum disease?
Gum disease is a progressive condition. In its early stage (gingivitis), it’s usually reversible. It is reversible with good oral hygiene and regular professional cleanings. However, if it progresses to periodontitis, the damage to the gums and bone is irreversible. At this stage, treatment focuses on managing the disease and preventing further damage. The sooner your dentist or periodontist detects and treats your gum disease, the better the outcome you will have.
Does gum disease go away after a dentist removes teeth?
Removing teeth affected by gum disease can help alleviate some symptoms. However, it doesn’t mean the gum disease will go away completely. Gum disease results from bacteria still present in the mouth even after a dentist has removed teeth. Maintaining good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups is crucial to manage gum disease effectively.
Schedule an Appointment
Treat gum disease at the source in our Lancaster or Palmdale offices.
Call our Lancaster, CA dentist office at (661) 948-6700 or schedule a dental visit to our Lancaster dentist office online.
Call our Palmdale, CA dentist office at (661) 273-6565 or schedule a visit to our Palmdale dentist office online.