Gum disease or periodontal disease is a common issue. The good news is that you can prevent and manage it with good oral hygiene and regular checkups.
However, more severe cases of gum disease call for periodontal treatments. Here is what you need to know about gum disease, common symptoms, and treatment options.
Unhealthy gums can become a breeding ground for bacteria, which results in poor oral hygiene. It can affect your overall health and make you more likely to develop conditions like heart disease.
Your gums play a critical role since they anchor and protect your teeth. Patients with implant-secured dentures must maintain good gum health to ensure their implants remain securely in place.
Advanced gum disease can cause damage to the gums and result in missing teeth. You might need a tooth implant or, possibly, permanent dentures to get your smile back. However, treatments like a lifetime tooth replacement with dental implants can be difficult to implement if you have gum disease, and you could face a higher dental implant cost.
Healthy gums should look pink and feel firm to the touch. Gum disease is something your dentist can diagnose during a checkup, but there are some common signs of gum disease you can monitor yourself. These signs include:
Gum disease is a condition that progresses over time. Most people have some mild signs of gum disease, and it’s a minor issue if you catch it early and address it. However, complications can appear if you wait.
Periodontal disease often starts out as gingivitis. It’s a mild form of gum disease with inflammation, redness, and slight swelling of the gums. You might also experience sensitivity and bleeding. A common cause is bad oral hygiene.
As it progresses, gingivitis will turn into periodontitis. This more severe form of periodontal disease can have a significant impact on your oral and overall health. If you don’t treat it, periodontitis can cause gum tissues to separate from your teeth, which leads to bacteria buildups, infections, and missing teeth.
There are different ways of treating periodontal disease. The treatment depends on how advanced the condition is.
If your dentist diagnoses you with mild gum disease, they will probably recommend a few changes to your oral health habits. Brushing more regularly and flossing can be enough to stop the progression of periodontal disease in some cases.
There are some nonsurgical periodontal treatments available if you have a mild case of gum disease. Antibiotics can be sufficient to treat an infection, and your dentist can use scaling to remove tartar and bacteria buildups.
Your periodontist can perform surgery to remove this buildup and clean the roots of the affected teeth if you have severe bacteria and tartar buildup due to a receding gum line.
During this procedure, your periodontist will lift a section of your gum tissues to clean the roots. If needed, they will also contour the bone to repair it.
If you have missing or damaged gum tissue, it’s possible to take soft tissues from your palate to perform a graft.
Bacteria buildup can damage your teeth and jawbone. Your periodontist can use different methods to regenerate damaged tissues, such as applying a special gel or placing a special material between the tooth and bone to guide the tissue regeneration.
If you need to have a tooth removed, you might also need a ridge augmentation. This treatment rebuilds the extraction site to stimulate natural gum tissue growth. You might need this treatment before getting dental implants.
Your periodontist can modify your sinuses to allow your upper jaw to develop new bone tissues. You might need this procedure if advanced periodontal disease has caused damage to these tissues. It’s something your dentist might recommend before getting denture implants or full-mouth dental implants.
If you think you have signs of periodontal disease, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Desai to learn more about our gum disease treatment options.