Do I Have Gum Disease?
IDENTIFY AND TREAT GUM DISEASE AT THE FIRST SYMPTOMS
An infection in your gums (periodontal disease) is an issue you're better off without. The two stages of gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis) both have visible symptoms. Whether you just started to notice that your gums look a bit inflamed or they bleed when you floss, you need to see a dentist in Saginaw, TX about periodontal disease. Do you know what gum disease looks like? These are some of the signs that can point to periodontal disease:
GUMS THAT BLEED
Gums that bleed after you brush or floss your teeth is usually the first symptom of periodontal disease. Even if you are brushing too hard, it shouldn't cause your gums to bleed. Brushing your teeth too hard is not a good dental habit, especially if you have swelling or already irritated gums, but there is probably an underlying periodontal problem causing your gums to bleed.
When your breath always smells bad (halitosis), it may be a symptom of gum disease. The bacteria trapped under your gumline can cause your breath to smell bad no matter how much you brush.
INFLAMMATION AND COLOR CHANGES
Color changes and inflammation in your gums are signs of a big problem. Purple or dark red gums, especially if they also bleed, are an urgent sign of periodontal disease. Sometimes, gums can change color due to certain lifestyle habits (such as using tobacco or a poor diet), which increase your risk for gum disease.
A TOOTHY SMILE
Advanced periodontal disease causes your gums to pull away and show more and more of your tooth than it should. When your gumline rises, it can cause a lot of damage and discomfort when the tooth root is out in the open. If you smile and see not enough gums and too much enamel, this could be a sign you have periodontal disease.
In the more advanced stages of periodontal disease when the roots of your teeth are exposed, you may feel discomfort when you eat or drink something cold or hot. This is a symptom of having a cavity and should be checked out by your dentist. If the sensitivity is located near the gumline, it is more likely to be caused by periodontal disease.
Ideally, you will go see a dentist at the earliest signs of periodontal disease. However, if you put off going to the dentist, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis with advanced signs. Some of these include loose teeth and exposed tooth roots. If your gums are weak, it can progressively compromise your teeth. When the gum is too weak to hold the tooth, it makes it easy for your teeth to be loose and/or fall out. The risk of an ongoing infection is also an important factor. Collected bacteria in your mouth can cause an infection in one of the pockets of your gums. The pus in the abscess will inflame your mouth and cause significant discomfort, as well as bigger problems if you don't get treatment. The infection can enter your bloodstream, which will impact every aspect of your health.
SCALING AND ROOT PLANING
SRP (scaling and root planing) is a treatment performed by your dentist to clean out the bacteria, tartar, and plaque buildup in your gum pockets. First, the dentist will use a special instrument known as a scaler to remove the tartar and plaque from your gum pockets. Then, they will plane (or smooth) the enamel so there are fewer areas where debris and bacteria usually get trapped and turn into buildup. An SRP treatment (or a few) can usually stop gingivitis and heal your gums.
Oral antibiotics may be added to help heal infected gum tissue. Dentist often prescribe antibiotics after a scaling and root planing treatment to help your gums heal by eliminating any lingering bacteria.
Surgery will improve the deep pockets that cause all the problems (collecting bacteria, getting infected, and affecting your gumline). Depending on your needs and your dentist, there are many ways to perform periodontal surgery. In your consultation, your dentist should explain your options and work with you to create a custom treatment plan.
OPTIONS FOR TREATMENT
Once you notice a symptom of periodontal disease, you need to have it examined by your dentist. No matter what stage your disease is in, your oral health can be improved with one of several treatment options. In advanced cases, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist in Saginaw, TX who specializes in the treatment of the gums. Treating periodontal disease may be a long process that requires several appointments. However, if you fix it now, you won't have to feel pain or get more extensive treatments, which will be necessary if you wait. The top ways to treat gum disease are:
FACTORS THAT INCREASE YOUR RISK
If you are at higher risk for gum disease, you have to start watching for symptoms and considering proactive measures. These are some of the biggest factors that can increase your risk for developing periodontal disease:
PREVENT PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Whether you want to avoid periodontal disease altogether or you want to avoid getting it again, here’s a few tips to improve the health of your gums:
GET RID OF PERIODONTAL DISEASE
If you have signs of gum disease or you are at high risk for developing it, talk to your dentist. Fossil Ranch Dental Care will diagnose gum disease and then create your custom treatment plan. We can usually reverse gingivitis with one or more scaling and root planing (SRP) treatments as well as antibiotics. If you have periodontitis, our practice in Saginaw, TX can perform laser gum surgery to repair your oral health.
* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.