Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a concern because it means the soft, supporting tissue that surrounds your teeth has a bacterial infection.
In its first stages, gum disease shows up as gingivitis – a relatively minor infection of the gums. If not treated, gingivitis progresses; it infiltrates the cementum that covers your tooth roots, the periodontal ligaments, and the alveolar bone.
Gum disease is most often a result of poor oral hygiene habits. If you don’t brush often enough or thoroughly, fail to floss, and skip your professional cleanings, plaque can build up on your teeth. The sticky film then hardens into tartar, which causes your gums to become inflamed.
The gums then start to pull away from your teeth and form an infected pocket between the tooth and the gum. Bacteria growth accelerates, allowing more plaque buildup and deepening the infection.
Some people are at greater risk of developing periodontal disease, including smokers, people with diabetes, and pregnant women.
The first signs of gingivitis are bleeding and tender gums. Other symptoms include:
If you have any of these symptoms, consult with the team at Brite Dental Spa for a gum disease evaluation.
The team at Brite Dental Spa offers treatment according to the severity of your gum disease. The goal is to prevent the infection from spreading and improve your overall oral health.
Gingivitis usually clears up with attention to good oral hygiene. You may need more frequent professional cleanings until the gingivitis clears to ensure your condition doesn’t worsen.
For moderate gum disease, you may benefit from scaling and root planing. During this procedure, the dentist scrapes and removes the plaque and tartar from your teeth, using local anesthesia, if needed.
This intensive cleaning removes buildup and allows your gums to heal and reattach to the clean surfaces of your teeth. To continue to heal from gum disease, you need to maintain good hygiene habits at home and periodic dental cleanings.
You may need flap surgery if you have severe gum disease. During this procedure, the oral surgeon pulls back the gum tissue and removes the infected areas of tissue. Some patients require gum grafts that involve taking tissue from another part of their mouth and reattaching it to cover exposed roots on infected teeth. Gum grafts discourage further decay and prevent sensitivity.
When gum disease is severe and extensive, your only treatment course may be the extraction of decayed teeth. In these cases, Brite Dental Spa can offer restoration options, such as bridges and implants, to fill gaps in your smile.
If you have swollen or bleeding gums and suspect gum disease, call Brite Dental Spa, or book an appointment online.