However, allowing it to advance without intervention leads to irreversible periodontitis or full gum disease. Yet, even irreversible gum disease can respond to treatment and lower your risks for complications.
Let’s explore gum disease: what it is, how to prevent it, and ways it can be treated.
What Is Gum Disease?
The hallmark of gum disease is infections and inflammation in the tooth-supporting bones and periodontal l ligaments. However, early in the condition—gingivitis—the inflammation and infections are limited to the soft tissues.
When gum disease advances, there are typical symptoms. However, not everyone notices the signs, especially if they are subtle.
What Are the Signs of Gum Disease, and Can I Prevent It?
As gum disease advances, you may notice some or all of the following symptoms:
- Bad breath that does not improve after brushing and flossing
- Loose, shifting, or mobile teeth as gums recede away from teeth and form pockets
- Bleeding, swollen, and irritated gums—bleeding especially with brushing and flossing
Because gum disease is progressive, you may not have every symptom, so excellent oral hygiene and regular dental care are vital. These are the keys to prevention!
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease may result from many factors, including:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Hormonal changes
- Lack of dental care
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Genetic factors
You may not be able to control genetics or hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy. However, brushing and flossing regularly and seeing your dentist can mitigate these risk factors significantly. And it is perfectly safe—even encouraged—to visit the dentist during pregnancy so your dentist or periodontist can monitor your gum health.
It’s also essential to report oral changes to your periodontist or dentist in Rehoboth Beach, DE. This can include tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, mouth sores, or related oral changes.
Does Gum Disease Go Away After a Tooth Is Removed?
When bacteria, infection, and tartar advance below the gumline, it may be necessary to remove a tooth if it is no longer viable—loose with no support from infected ligaments and bone. Your periodontist or dentist removes the tooth to prevent disease advancement, but it will not cure your gum disease.
Of course, the lost tooth contributes to bone loss in the jaw due to your missing tooth root. Therefore, it’s important to consider tooth replacement after periodontal treatment.
Remember, treatment cannot cure periodontal disease, but your periodontist or dentist can improve your oral health to mitigate risks to other teeth and your overall health and potentially restore lost teeth with prosthetics.
How Can Gum Disease Put My Health at Risk?
Unfortunately, gum disease affects more than your smile. Of course, untreated gum disease leads to tooth loss through extraction or falling out. But these infections can also spread away from the mouth through the bloodstream.
Studies link untreated gum disease to the following issues:
- Low birth weight
- Premature labor
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Heart health complications
- Lung health complications
- And more
What Is Gum Disease Treatment in Rehoboth Beach, DE?
Periodontists and dentists are experts when it comes to gum disease treatment. We will evaluate your level of gum disease and can customize a plan of action. Depending on your response to treatment, this plan can be altered or added to.
Protocols may include scaling and root planing. This means below-the-gumline cleanings and root recontouring to clear pockets and promote better gum-to-tooth adherence. Your periodontist or dentist may apply topical antibiotics below the gumline during scaling and root planing treatment.
Oral antibiotics are another possibility, along with antimicrobial mouthwash and a prescribed at-home oral hygiene routine.
Additionally, we may talk to you about professional teeth cleanings on a more customized schedule. Typically, checkups and teeth cleanings are twice yearly, but if you have gum disease, you may need cleanings more often.
Contact Your Dentist or Periodontist in Rehoboth Beach, DE.
We understand that gum disease and periodontal treatment can feel daunting, but our caring team is with you throughout treatment and always takes measures to ensure your comfort. We do not judge and focus only on your well-being.
If you would like to arrange a periodontal evaluation or have questions for the dentist or periodontist, we encourage you to reach out to our dental team today.