What is gum disease?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the bone and soft tissue that support your teeth. Gum disease often forms when plaque builds along the gum line. Many factors can increase your risk for gum disease including improper care of teeth and gums, stress, HIV infection, aging, smoking, puberty, pregnancy, and use of certain medications that reduce the natural flow of saliva.
If you believe you may be suffering from gum disease, please contact Rabbath, D.M.D. PLLC as soon as possible, by calling 603.432.6430 so our experienced team can help.
What happens if gum disease is left untreated?
Without treatment, your teeth will lose support and can become loose or painful, eventually falling out of their sockets. Gum disease has also been linked to problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
Symptoms of gum disease include:
Loose or sensitive teeth
Bleeding or red gums
Consistent bad breath that doesn’t go away after brushing
Tender or swollen gums
What are the stages of gum disease?
Gum disease occurs in recognizable stages. The sooner you acknowledge that you require treatment, the better chance you have of stopping or slowing down gum disease.
Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease, characterized by tender and swollen gums that are likely to bleed. Generally, daily brushing and flossing can reverse gingivitis, along with regular cleanings from a dental hygienist or dentist.
This is the moderate stage of gum disease. The gums deteriorate and detach from the teeth, forming gum pockets. This allows plaque to begin to collect below the gum line. Infection can occur, causing the bones and tissue to break down.
This is the advanced and final stage of gum disease. Patients experience pain and discomfort when eating. Teeth become loose and may need to be removed.
What treatments are available for gum disease?
Many treatments are available to treat gum disease, depending on the severity of the infection. Talk to your dentist about what treatment is best for you.
Antibiotics or anti-microbials can help control the growth of bacteria that causes gum disease.
When plaque and tartar are detected near the gum line, it is necessary to scrape the substance off both the crown and the root of the teeth. Often times, the surfaces of the teeth are smoothed with root planing, which gets rid of rough spots.
Tissue and Bone Grafts
Gum tissues are likely to recede around the necks of the teeth due to periodontal disease. This can cause the patient to have unaesthetic root exposures and to be hypersensitive to cold temperatures. Periodontal tissue augmentation procedures can cover exposed roots and provide a protective band of tissue around the necks of treated teeth.
Flap surgery is a common procedure that removes tartar deposits in deep pockets. This surgery includes lifting the gums and removing the tartar, then suturing the gums back into place. The gums will then heal and fit more tightly around the teeth.
What can I do to prevent gum disease?
To avoid gum disease, you should brush your teeth twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste. Additionally, you can prevent gum disease by frequently flossing and visiting your dentist regularly for cleanings.
If you have any questions, or would like more information on the disease and treatment, please call Rabbath, D.M.D. PLLC at 603.432.6430 so we can help diagnose and treat your problems as soon as possible.