Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. If the condition is left untreated, it can escalate into periodontitis. At this point, the patient is in danger of infection and the potential for tooth loss exists. A visit to the dentist for treatment is needed to restore your teeth and gums to a healthier condition.
There are several symptoms that warn that you may be dealing with the onset of gum disease including:
- Bleeding gums – If you brush too aggressively or use a hard bristle toothbrush, you can make your gums bleed. However, if they bleed with little or no provocation, this is not normal.
- Gum appearance – Healthy gum tissue is pink and firm. Red and/or swollen gums are indicative of a problem.
- Chronic bad breath – You might have bad breath following consumption of strong foods or beverages, but if a breath mint, mouthwash, or brushing still leaves you with a sour odor your oral health may be to blame.
- Receding gum tissue – If gums are pulling away from teeth or teeth feel loose, this means your gum disease is advanced and dental care is needed right away.
Even patients that are diligent about daily brushing and flossing and regularly visit their dentist every six months can experience gum disease. It does not have to affect your entire mouth … a tooth, quadrant, or arch may be involved. It is important to see your dentist for treatment before early symptoms can escalate.
Dental x-rays, the presence of plaque build-up, as well as actual symptoms all help to diagnose gum disease. Treatment with root planing and scaling involves removing plaque from beneath the gum line. In some cases, antibiotics are recommended as well as prescription strength oral rinses. Ongoing treatment may be required.
Some of the causes attributed to gum disease include smoking and tobacco use, poor daily oral hygiene care (inadequate or improper brushing and flossing), missed or irregularly kept dental cleaning appointments, poor nutrition, regular soda consumption and alcohol/illicit drug abuse. Genetics have also been known to play a role in dental health.
Although most gum disease patients are adults, it is possible for children to develop periodontal disease. Teaching children about the importance of taking care of their teeth and making sure they see their dentist every six months are important to maintaining good oral health.
Contact our team at The Dental Place to schedule a consultation!