Gum disease is a common problem—in fact, it’s one of the most common causes of tooth loss among adults. If it’s treated in its early stages, it can be eliminated with non-invasive means. If you notice any possible signs of gum disease, see your family dentist for prompt diagnosis. One of the early signs is bleeding in your gums when you brush your teeth.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease can be difficult to diagnose until it becomes serious, but there are symptoms you should be aware of. Your family dentist can analyze your teeth and gums during your regular appointments and determine if there are any major problems. If you notice any symptoms, mention them to your dentist on your next appointment.
Some of the early symptoms include:
- Bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth
- A red or shiny appearance to gum tissue
- Swelling in the gums
The gums also begin to draw back from the roots during the early stages of gum disease. Your family dentist will check this with special tools during your regular examination. If the gums have begun to draw back, there will be pockets around your teeth. Measuring these pockets lets your dentist determine whether or not inflammation has begun.
Treatment for Gum Disease
In its early stages, your gums might only be mildly inflamed. This is referred to as gingivitis, or inflammation of the gingival tissues. Gingivitis can be treated with special toothpastes, usually containing baking soda, or antibacterial mouthwashes. Your family dentist might prescribe antibiotics. As the infection progresses, more invasive, complex treatments are required. As gingivitis becomes more serious, you might need a deep cleaning treatment called planing and scaling to remove the infection. This treatment involves removing all the infection from beneath the gums, then smoothing the root and bone tissue.
If gum disease progresses further, the gums begin to draw back from the teeth, leaving them with insufficient support. They can become loose and even fall out. Gum surgery may be required at this point, sometimes involving gum grafts, in which tissue is removed from the roof of the mouth and used to shore up the gums.
Have more questions? Contact our team at the office of Dr. Dan Bush today!