Gum disease is a serious infection of the gums, caused by the accumulation of bacteria on the teeth and gums. When bacteria stay on the teeth for long enough, they form a film called plaque. If plaque is not properly removed by daily brushing and flossing, it can harden to tartar or calculus, which can only be removed by a dental health professional.
Besides poor oral hygiene, certain factors can put you at a higher risk of periodontitis, including:
Your gums may look red and swollen. You may notice some blood when you brush your teeth or floss, although there may not be any pain. Gingivitis can be prevented and/or reversed by maintaining good daily oral hygiene. If left untreated, it will often progress into periodontitis.
Periodontitis affects the bone and gums that support and keep teeth in their place. In the early stages, your gums pull away from your teeth and small pockets form between gums and teeth. Bacteria can get into these pockets and can cause bone loss. You may experience bleeding and pain around the teeth, as well as persistent bad breath.
In advanced stages of periodontitis, your teeth may become loose when the gums, bones, and other tissue that support your teeth decay. You may experience severe pain while chewing, severe bad breath, or a foul taste in your mouth. At that point you are at risk of losing your teeth.
Other complications of periodontitis include:
The main goal of treatment is to control the infection by removing plaque and bacterial deposits on your teeth and gum. When you visit our dental office, our dental care team will give you advice and instructions on how to properly brush and floss your teeth. We will also suggest regular hygiene appointments so we can remove plaque buildup and clean out any pockets that have formed between your teeth and gums.
For severe cases of periodontitis, we may prescribe antibiotics to help with persistent gum infections or recommend surgery to clean deposits under your gums. If you've had any bone loss, a procedure called bone grafting may be done to regenerate the lost bone.
You can keep your gums and teeth healthy by:
Do you have concerns about your dental health? Don't forget to book a check-up appointment with us today so we can help protect and restore your smile!