Gum disease affects millions of people worldwide. It is much more than just red or bleeding gums. If left untreated, it can lead to serious oral health issues. For most people, gum disease can begin with poor oral hygiene. However, there are other people who are more genetically inclined to have gum disease. Additionally, hormone fluctuations can increase your risks as well.
This means that it is likely for people to develop gum disease even with a good oral hygiene routine. As a result, you should know what gum disease looks like and how to treat it. It will save you time, money, and serious dental issues.
Causes and Damage
Gum disease occurs when bacteria build up in the mouth. This can cause inflammation and infection in the gums. Early treatment can prevent gum disease from advancing to more severe stages, which can result in tooth loss and bone damage.
Treating gum disease improves the overall health of your gums, reducing the risk of infections and promoting a healthy smile. Research suggests a link between gum disease and various systemic health conditions, including heart disease and diabetes. Treating gum disease may help lower the risk of these complications.
Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
Understanding the signs and symptoms of gum disease can help you seek timely treatment.
Red, Swollen, or Bleeding Gums
Gums that appear red, swollen, or bleed easily, especially during brushing or flossing, may indicate gum disease.
Persistent Bad Breath
Foul-smelling breath that doesn’t improve with oral hygiene measures can be a sign of gum infection.
Gum Recession and Tooth Sensitivity
Receding gums, exposed tooth roots, and increased tooth sensitivity can be signs of gum disease progression. As the plaque and tartar build along the gum line, the tissues will begin to pull away from the teeth. This is what causes exposed roots and gum recession.
Effective Treatment Options for Gum Disease
Treating gum disease typically involves a combination of professional intervention and consistent at-home care.
Scaling and root planing remove plaque and tartar buildup from above and below the gum line. This process will smooth the root surfaces to discourage further bacteria growth. In addition, this will help the gums reattach to the teeth.
With more moderate cases, you may need supplemental treatment. Your dentist may prescribe topical or oral antibiotics to target and control bacterial infection. Even with deep cleaning and medication, you may need more than one round of antibiotics to control the infection.
In advanced cases, gum surgery may be necessary to remove infected tissue, reshape the gums, or regenerate bone structure.
Regular dental checkups and cleanings are essential for monitoring and managing gum disease. Your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings to ensure optimal gum health. Once you have gum disease, especially a severe case, it won’t go away. That is why you have to be vigilant with your oral care once you receive a diagnosis.