If you have noticed inflamed gums or bleeding while you brush or floss your teeth, you may have the early signs of periodontal disease. At Fallbrook Dentist, we understand the impact periodontal disease can have on your oral health and overall wellness, which is why we are committed to providing a comprehensive array of options to treat and manage periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that can damage the soft tissue and jawbone if left untreated. It is a common dental condition that can often be prevented through good oral hygiene. Periodontal disease is classified into two stages: gingivitis and advanced periodontitis. Gingivitis treatment and treatment for advanced periodontitis are based on symptoms.
Initial gum disease symptoms are typically swollen or puffy gums, bleeding while brushing, or bad breath. These are all indicative of early gingivitis. Advanced periodontitis symptoms are more serious and may include loose teeth, gums pulling away from the teeth, loss of teeth, or a change in your bite.
Diagnosing gum disease includes reviewing your medical history to identify risk factors, a visual examination of the mouth looking for plaque, measurement of the periodontal pockets, and x-rays to look for bone loss.
Treating gum disease depends on the severity of the condition. The goal of any treatment is to eliminate infection and halt any damage to the tissue and bone. Treatment will also include improvement in at-home oral hygiene and minimizing risk by managing other health conditions and quitting smoking or tobacco use.
For early stages of gum disease, treatment may include:
- Scaling and Root Planing – a professional periodontal cleaning that removes tartar build-up from the tooth to below the gumline. The roots are then smoothed out to prevent future buildup and improve the reattachment of the gums.
- Antibiotics – topical or oral antibiotics are often needed to control the infection.
For advanced periodontitis, treatment may include:
- Bone grafts – to assist in regrowth of the jawbone and prevent tooth loss
- Soft tissue grafts – to reinforce loss of tissue caused by gum recession
- Pocket reduction surgery – to lift the gum tissue back into place
To prevent future occurrences of gum disease, it is important to take the following steps:
- Practice good oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque from teeth
- Use antibacterial mouthwash to help reduce plaque buildup
- Quit smoking or using tobacco
- Maintain regular professional cleanings and exams
If you think you may be showing some of the signs, it is important to see a gum treatment dentist as soon as possible to begin treatment and prevent the condition from advancing. If you are in the Fallbrook area, call Fallbrook Dentist today at (760) 284-8477 to book an appointment.