While we all know we’re supposed to be checking in on our physical health a few times a year, sometimes life gets away from us and we suddenly realize it’s been months or even years since we’ve gone in for a checkup. If you’ve recently decided it’s time for a visit to the dentist after a long time away, perhaps it’s because something doesn’t feel quite right in your mouth and you would like to have it professionally investigated. If you’re worried that what you’re experiencing could be a larger problem than a cavity or two, keep reading to learn a bit more about the signs of gum disease and what you and your dentist can do to treat it!
First Off, What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease—or periodontitis as it is medically known—is a disease impacting the gums and teeth which forms when another condition, gingivitis, is left untreated. Gingivitis causes inflammation of the gums due to a buildup of plaque and bacteria on the teeth. When caught early, gingivitis is highly treatable and preventable, however once it progresses into gum disease things become a bit more complicated. Once gum disease develops, damage to the bone and gum tissues surrounding your teeth will occur, eventually resulting in tooth loss.
Signs and Symptoms
Unfortunately, there are often few obvious signs of gum disease as it is progressing. Even in the later stages, it may be hard to detect without a professional. Some of the small indicators many patients do notice, though, include:
- Gums that bleed easily while brushing or flossing
- A receding gum line
- Persistent bad breath that doesn’t go away after brushing
- Red, tender, swollen gums
- Loose teeth
- A noticeable change to the bite, indicating teeth have shifted in their sockets
Because not all patients experience any or all of these signs, it’s important to have your mouth looked at by a dentist at least once every six months. He or she will be able to assess the progression of any gum disease you may have and work to help you treat it.
Taking Care of Business
If you have been diagnosed with gum disease, your dentist will want to work with you to prevent further damage from happening. The main goal of treatment will be to promote the growth of healthy tissues to help reattach the gums to the teeth. Your dentist will want to reduce swelling and inflammation of your gums, reduce your risk of infection, and stop the overall progression of the disease. Depending on the stage of your gum disease, your treatment options will vary. Nonsurgical treatment options include therapies that control bacterial growth, while surgical options will work to restore damaged tissue. Your plan of action will be laid out between you and your dentist.
If you’re worried that you’re showing signs of gum disease, reach out to your dentist right away to have the situation evaluated! Catching this disease earlier will help your chances of keeping your teeth and of rebuilding the damage done.
To schedule a consultation or routine checkup, give us a call at TruBlu Dentistry in Burbank, Chicago, or Hegewisch today!