Are your gums red and tender? Do they bleed when you brush or floss? If so, you may have gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. The main cause of gum disease is plaque, a sticky, colorless film of bacteria that constantly forms and attacks the gums. surrounding the teeth and the bone supporting your teeth.
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. There is usually little or no discomfort, the gums are red, swollen and bleed easily. This is usually caused by poor oral hygiene and can be easily reversed with good home care and professional treatment. Untreated gingivitis can lead to a more advanced stage of the disease called periodontitis. The film of bacteria and plaque eventually spreads below the gum line and attacks the tissue and bone supporting the teeth. The gums begin to separate from the teeth, forming pockets where even more bacteria and plaque can accumulate. If left untreated, the pockets deepen as more and more tissue and bone is destroyed until the tooth becomes loose and may need to be extracted.
Only your dentist can tell if you definitely have periodontitis with a periodontal exam, but some warning signs you should look for include:
- Bleeding gums.
- Red, swollen, tender gums.
- Bad breath.
- Any changes to your bite.
- Loose teeth or teeth beginning to feel loose.
Fighting and treating gum disease requires short term and long term strategies. The doctor and hygienist will work with you to design a home care program to maintain your ultimate dental health. Ultrasonic equipment, hand instruments and/or pharmaceuticals will also be properly incorporated in your treatment protocol. We want to provide the best treatment, which means high efficiency and if possible, zero discomfort to our patients. We also want to equip our patients with the knowledge and methods to maintain the best dental health. Give us a call today for more information!
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