Do you have sensitive, swollen gums that bleed when you brush your teeth or eat anything? If yes, it is because of underlying gum disease, also called periodontal disease. However, there is no need to worry; periodontal disease is treatable and can be reversed entirely if diagnosed early. In this blog, we will understand what periodontal disease is, how to prevent it, and what options are available for its treatment. So, read to learn more about gum disease.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), periodontal disease refers to the inflammation of the gums and the structures that support our teeth. Gum disease has a very high prevalence worldwide; it has been estimated that over 47% of US adults aged 30 and above have some form of periodontal disease.
The primary cause of the periodontal disease is poor oral hygiene maintenance, leading to plaque and tartar deposition. However, other factors can also contribute to this disease, including:
The common symptoms of underlying gum disease include:
Periodontal disease progresses in different stages. The Initial stage of gingivitis, is characterized by swollen, sensitive, reddish gums that bleed spontaneously. This stage represents the initial formation of plaque and tartar deposits on the teeth, which provide a haven for harmful bacteria. These bacteria release toxins that cause gum inflammation. Gingivitis is completely reversible with strict oral hygiene care and dental treatment.
However, if oral hygiene maintenance care is ignored, harmful bacteria in the plaque and tartar release toxins that attack the gum tissues, leading to them pulling away from their normal positions – and creating pockets between the teeth and gums – which further promote food impaction. At the same time, the toxins start damaging the bone that supports our teeth, making them mobile and unevenly spaced in the oral cavity. If this condition is not treated timely, the infection becomes irreversible, and teeth are so mobile that they start falling off.
The treatment for periodontal disease involves eliminating the root cause, plaque deposition, in most cases. The treatment of periodontal disease in Houston also depends on the severity of the infection and can be divided into two types: non-surgical and surgical treatment.
This type of treatment is usually undertaken for mild to moderate gum disease. Your dentist will give oral hygiene instructions such as regular brushing and flossing. They may also prescribe a medicated mouthwash to neutralize the harmful bacteria. Furthermore, your dentist will perform scaling and root planning in Houston, a procedure in which they will use special instruments to remove plaque and tartar deposits from the teeth and promote gum healing.
Surgical treatment for periodontal disease is needed in case of a severe infection. In addition to oral hygiene instructions, your dentist may have to perform additional procedures. A routinely performed surgical treatment for periodontal disease in Houston is deep scaling and root planning. In this procedure, your dentist will raise a flap of gum tissue to expose the underlying roots, remove plaque deposits more thoroughly, and promote healing. In other cases, a periodontist in Texax may also perform procedures such as bone grafting to replenish the lost bone tissue. Furthermore, if any natural teeth have been lost due to gum disease, they will be replaced with dental implants to restore dental function and facial esthetics.
Gum disease is preventable and easily treatable in the early stages. However, if not treated timely, it can cause severe damage to one’s oral health and smile. The good news is that you only need good oral hygiene maintenance and regular dental checkup visits to prevent it. So, book an appointment with your periodontal specialist in Houston today and keep your teeth and gums healthy.