Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. It’s caused by the buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums.
Despite the fact that periodontal disease is a leading cause of tooth loss, many people ignore the symptoms of gum disease until it’s in an advanced stage. In its early stages, gum disease can be treated with professional dental care and good oral hygiene, but when allowed to develop into gingivitis or periodontitis, more aggressive treatment may be required.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Recognizing and understanding the symptoms of gum disease is the first step toward preventing it from advancing. These are the most common symptoms of gum disease, and if you experience any of the following, you should schedule a visit to your dentist’s office.
- sensitive teeth
- swollen bright red gums
- bleeding while brushing
- chronic bad breath
- gum recession
- loose teeth
Treatment of gum disease varied with the severity of the problem, but consists of the following:
- Professional cleaning – The first step in treating gum disease is to have a professional cleaning done in your dentist’s office to remove the buildup of plaque and tartar.
- Scaling and root planing – This involves removing plaque and tartar from beneath the gumline, and smoothing the roots to help your gums reattach to your teeth.
- Antibiotics – In some cases, your dental professional will prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection in your gums.
- Surgery –If your gum disease has progressed to an advanced stage, surgery may be necessary. Procedures can be performed to lift the gums, remove the plaque and tarter, and use bone and tissue grafts to help regenerate damaged bone and gum tissue.
- Lifestyle changes – Refraining from smoking, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining good oral hygiene can help to both treat and prevent gum disease.
Gum disease is not something to ignore, and the sooner it’s caught and treated, the less severe the consequences. The best way to avoid gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.
Beyond Dentistry and Laser Center is the home of the finest experts in laser dentistry, implants, gum disease, and many other dental services. In addition to laser dentistry, Dr. Simon Kappel is the area’s premium practitioner of cosmetic dentistry, offering porcelain veneers and cosmetic makeovers. From the moment that you first call for information or an appointment, you will feel welcomed and relaxed. At our practice, we not only perform dental procedures, but we also change lives. Dr. Kappel and his friendly staff focus on patient comfort and convenience, and they will make every effort to assure your satisfaction. That’s why so many patients from all over the U.S. and even other countries make the trip to Brooklyn to see Dr. Kappel. If you would like information about our practice, or to schedule an appointment, visit our website or give us a call at 718-650-2408. We look forward to meeting you!