Gum Disease Dental Treatment
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of all Americans over the age of 30 have an advanced form of gum disease. It’s a severe health issue and impacts far more than just your oral health. At My Ashburn Dentist, trained professionals provide comprehensive diagnostic and treatment options to fight gum disease to the residents of Ashburn, Virginia, and many have achieved astounding improvements in their gum health. If you would like to learn more about preventing or treating periodontal disease, schedule an appointment online or call the office today.
Gum Disease Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a bacterial infection of your gum tissue. Our mouths are filled with bacteria at all times, which combines with other substances in your mouth to form a sticky layer of plaque.
Plaque can harden into tartar when left alone. An accumulation of plaque and tartar increases harmful bacteria counts and can cause inflammation of your gum tissue.
Gum disease can weaken your bone tissue and lead to tooth loss, left untreated. Infected gums also allow bacteria to enter your body; this can cause numerous severe problems including diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.
This condition is known as gingivitis, and can eventually turn into periodontitis. At that stage, the gum tissue is so swollen it begins to pull away from the surface of teeth, creating “pockets” where bacteria can continue to wreak havoc.
What's the Difference Between Gingivitis and Periodontitis?
Gingivitis (gum inflammation) usually precedes periodontitis (gum disease). However, it's important to understand that not all gingivitis progresses to periodontitis.
During the initial stage of gingivitis, bacteria in plaque build-up, causing the gums to become inflamed and to simply bleed during tooth brushing. Although the gums could also be irritated, the teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets and no tissue damage has occurred at this stage.
When this disease is left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis. A person with periodontitis, the inner layer of their gum and bone draw away from the teeth and form pockets. These small spaces between teeth and gums gather debris and may become infected. The body's system fights the bacteria because the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line.
Toxins are produced by the bacteria in plaque also because the body's "good" enzymes involved in fighting infections start to interrupt down the bone and connective tissue that hold our teeth to their place. When gum tissue and bones are destroyed, teeth are no longer attached in their place; they become loose and end up with tooth loss. That is why Gum disease is that the leading explanation for tooth loss in adults.
What Are The Symptoms Of Gum Disease?
The most common signs of gum disease include:
- Pain or tenderness
- Loose teeth
- Receding gums
- Sensitive teeth
For many, the primary sign of gum disease is the presence of blood during or after brushing. Healthy gum tissue does not bleed during routine oral hygiene, and should not be tender or sore.
What Are The Treatment Options For Gum Disease?
Treatment depends on the condition of your gum tissue. Your dentist will evaluate your gums and help you find the best treatment approach.
If your gum disease is mild, you may be able to reverse the damage through improved dental hygiene habits and a professional cleaning. It is essential to maintain proper brushing and flossing to ensure that gum disease does not develop in the future.
If there’s significant inflammation, you may need a deep-cleaning procedure known as scaling and root planing. That involves manual removal of plaque and tartar below the gum line.
Medications can also help control infection. Some are oral medications; others come in the form of mouthwash or slow-release particles placed directly into gum tissue pockets.
In severe cases, oral surgery may be the only solution to gum disease. Surgical procedures can temporarily lift gum tissue to allow for the removal of plaque and tartar, or involve grafting bone or gum tissue to replace damaged areas.
Gum disease is a serious matter. If you’re concerned about the health of your gums, schedule an appointment with My Ashburn Dentist right away.