What are Symptoms of Gum Disease?
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. Left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis which can lead to other dental issues such as permanent damage to the gum tissue, teeth, and jaw bone. Gingivitis is actually quite common and if caught before it is allowed to progress, is actually simple to eradicate.
It is entirely possible to have gingivitis and not even realize that you have a problem. When you know the warning signs, you can get to your dentist to have professional treatment and restore your mouth to a healthy state!
What are some signs and symptoms of gum disease?
There are a number of symptoms that could indicate gingivitis. If you believe you are suffering from gingivitis or show signs of any of the symptoms listed below, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible to receive treatment.
Signs that you may have gum disease include:
- Bleeding during brushing or flossing
- Red and puffy gum tissue
- Loose teeth
- Chronic bad breath (or halitosis)
- Large gum pockets
- Changes in tooth alignment or bite
Types of Gum Disease
Gingivitis is the first, and more mild, stage of gum disease. Gingivitis involves the inflammation of the gum tissue which is caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar at the gumline. Left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a more severe stage of gum disease. It is a more harmful infection that can cause permanent damage to gum tissue, tooth structure and bone deterioration. Your teeth can become loose and eventually fall out.
How to Treat Gum Disease
The most important Step is to see your dental hygienist to get the infection under control. Your hygienist will clean your teeth and remove the infection and plaque buildup. Sometimes, a deep cleaning is necessary for more severe cases. A deep cleaning is referred to as scaling and root planing. This deep cleaning will require A local anesthetic as the hygienist will use their tools to reach well below the gum line. Some extreme cases may require treatment from a Periodontist.
Once you have had a professional cleaning, it is crucial to develop and maintain good home care. This is easily achieved with good hygiene habits that include brushing with a soft bristled brush at least twice daily and flossing at least once daily. Your dentist may also recommend that you add an antimicrobial mouthwash to your routine. This will help kill any germs that escape the reach of your toothbrush or dental floss!
Make sure you maintain visits to your dentist at least twice a year. If you are susceptible to gum disease, your dentist and dental hygienist may advise that you receive more than two professional cleanings per year. At these regular check ups, your dental team will be able to monitor your progress and make sure that the infection does not return!
More on Gum Disease : What is Gum Disease?