More than half of the adult population in the United States and Canada exhibit prominent signs of periodontal disease; yet, they’re still reluctant to undergo proper treatment required to remedy this problem. Inflamed, bleeding gums are just two of the most common symptoms associated with gum disease, but many people tend to mistake these as normal dental phenomena because of how often they occur. Gum disease treatment is an essential part of dental hygiene and it should be taken care of as soon as possible. Keep reading to learn all about what periodontal disease is, what the symptoms are, and how it can be treated.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease develops as a direct result of lack of oral care. Failing to brush your teeth and floss on a regular basis are core aspects of the problem but avoiding dental appointments can also be a major contributing factor. Scheduling regular dental cleanings and checkups can help ensure that plaque deposits and other bacteria are removed promptly from those hard to reach areas of your mouth, particularly your gum pockets. Bacteria are generally attracted to and thrive in warm and wet areas, which is why they tend to appear within the confines of your mouth. When enough bacteria accumulates within your gum pockets, it can cause a severe and painful infection which can spread to other parts of your body as well. By definition, periodontal disease is the structural breakdown of your gums and bone as a result of this type of infection.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Physicians and scientists have been studying the potential causes of gum disease for a long time and their findings have confirmed that harmful and infectious bacteria and plaque are the culprits. Like numerous other medical conditions, if periodontal disease is left untreated for too long, it can spread to other parts of the body and lead to a whole host of other potentially more serious medical issues.
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
As mentioned, bleeding and swollen gums are the two most commonly recognized symptoms of early gum disease. Most people tend to think it’s normal for their gums to bleed while brushing or flossing because they’ve gotten used to it, but this is actually a major sign of trouble ahead and it should be treated immediately.
Other symptoms include:
- Red, receding gums that expose large portions of teeth that are prone to sensitivity
- Loose adult teeth
- Mouth sores
- Pus extruding from your gums
- Change in the shape of your bite
- If you have dentures, you’ll notice a drastic change in the way they fit inside your mouth
What Are the Different Stages of Gum Infection?
There are three major stages of gum disease, ranging from minor to severe: gingivitis, periodontitis, and severe periodontitis.
In its initial stage, gum disease is characterized by swollen, tender, and red gums that bleed frequently from brushing, eating, or even when the gums gently graze against something like a glass or straw. Gingivitis occurs when plaque that hasn’t been removed by brushing or flossing hardens and turns into tartar, which can happen even if you practice excellent dental care at home. The simple truth of the matter is that brushing, flossing, and using mouth wash are all exemplary dental hygiene practices; but they’re simply not enough. On average, you need to pay your dentist a visit for a cleaning at least once every six months because they have the necessary tools to reach into the areas of your mouth that are impossible for you to get to at home.
Moderate and Severe Periodontitis
Gingivitis can quickly progress into periodontitis. During this stage of gum disease, the gums begin to retreat and form gum pockets which are highly susceptible to bacterial infections. As more and more bacteria continue to build up inside these gum pockets, the underlying tissue and bone structure begins to disintegrate, which weakens the foundation for your teeth. Eventually, teeth begin to loosen and may either fall out on their own or they may need to be removed by your dentist.
How to Prevent Gum Disease from Getting Worse
There are several treatment methods that can be implemented to prevent gum disease from progressing, depending on the stage you’re currently experiencing. Gingivitis can easily be treated by increasing your dental visits to once every three to four months for a cleaning rather than the traditional six-month intervals. Regular brushing and flossing as often as possible—preferably in between meals, if you can—are also excellent ways to restore your oral health to its original state. For more advanced stages of periodontal disease, some dentists may recommend undergoing laser treatment or even surgery. This allows them to dive deeper into your most troublesome gum pockets and extinguish larger quantities of infection-causing plaque and bacteria.
Is It Possible to Cure Periodontal Disease?
Unfortunately, there are no cures available for periodontal disease. The best you can hope to do is keep it under strict control through advanced treatments and make sure that you visit the dentist as often as recommended. Along with maintaining a regular at-home dental hygiene routine that includes both brushing your teeth and flossing thoroughly in between your gums on a regular basis, having your dentist conduct in-depth cleanings are the best way to prevent the infection from progressing. This treatment typically slows down the progression of the infection, but in some cases, it can also stop it altogether. However, it’s impossible to replace or reconstruct the bone structure that’s been depleted due to the infection.
Trust Princeview Dental Group for Periodontal Disease Treatment
Princeview Dental Group conducts thorough and periodontal disease treatment in Toronto and the GTA. For over 20 years, we’ve built up a strong reputation. Conveniently located in the heart of the Kingsway, we’re always ready and willing to help our patients with all of their dental hygiene needs. Contact us today to learn more about our clinic or to book an appointment.