Gum disease is one of the most common types of infections.. It is often characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily. As the infection progresses, pockets form between your gums and teeth, which can harbor plaque, tartar, and food debris. Bacteria thrive within these pockets, causing even more damage. Over time, the tissue structures that support the teeth and hold them in place can be destroyed. If left untreated, tooth loss can occur.
The good news is that gum disease is preventable with good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist. If you are diagnosed with periodontal issues, we may suggest non-surgical treatments such as scaling and root planing or a deep cleaning. In more severe cases, we may recommend surgical intervention with flap surgery or bone augmentation.
It’s important to remember that good oral care begins at home. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day to remove food particles and bacteria from between your teeth. It’s also a good idea to avoid sticky foods that can get stuck between your teeth and cause decay and infection. Be sure to schedule regular checkups and cleanings at the dentist so you stay on track with your dental health. It’s the best way to prevent advanced stages of periodontal disease, which can have serious impacts on your oral health and overall wellbeing.
The first stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, is marked by swollen and red gums and bleeding while brushing or flossing. You may notice bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth as well. If left untreated, the periodontitis can develop, causing gum recession, loose teeth, tooth detachment, and even tooth loss. At that point, you’re also at risk of developing an infection in the jawbone. In advanced stages, you may not have enough bone to support dental implants or other restorations.
When periodontitis is diagnosed, your periodontist will recommend a comprehensive treatment plan that can reverse the disease process and halt any further damage. Treatment for periodontal disease and its effects may include:
- Professional Dental Cleanings, which removes plaque and tartar from tooth surfaces
- Scaling and Root Planing, which removes bacteria in the pockets around teeth and below the gum line
- Antibiotic Therapy, when deep pockets are present and cannot be treated with scaling and root planing alone
- Gum Surgery, in severe cases of gum disease that do not respond to other treatments
- Orthodontic Treatment to address bite issues or crooked teeth that can contribute to the progression of periodontal disease
- Dental Implants to replace missing teeth and restore functionality and appearance
- Dental Restorations to repair damaged teeth and improve aesthetics
Once your periodontal disease has been treated, it’s critical that you maintain good oral health habits at home to prevent recurrence of the condition. Your dentist may recommend more frequent visits for professional teeth cleanings and exams to monitor the health of your teeth and maintain good periodontal health.
You should schedule an appointment if you notice that your gums bleed when you floss or brush and your teeth look longer than normal. Your gums might also feel irritated, swollen, or even tender to the touch. If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with our dentist, Dr. Jennifer Nguyen right away!
Call our office today at (825) 467-8888, located at 4224 Gateway Blvd NW Edmonton, AB.