Treating Gum Disease
By Steven Kail on October 08, 2012
Gum disease is one of the most prevalent oral health issues affecting Americans today. The first signs of gum disease can be very subtle, so many patients with gum disease are unaware they suffer from the condition. It is important to see a dentist regularly to ensure the prevention of gum disease. If you're looking for a dentist in Jackson, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with our experienced dentists at the Premier Dental Center.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease. This disease is essentially an infection of the gums. There are two stages of gum disease with different signs and symptoms. The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. Untreated gingivitis may lead to the second, more severe stage, called periodontitis. With gingivitis, the gum infection is somewhat localized to the tissue surrounding the teeth. As the disease progresses to the periodontitis stage, the infection can further damage gum tissue and even affect the health of the jawbone. As the infection persists, the gum and bone will begin to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets between the teeth and gum line. These pockets collect plaque and debris, which cause the pockets to deepen. As the pockets deepen and the bone and gum tissue pull away from the teeth, the teeth will eventually loosen and fall out.
The Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease.
Each stage of gum disease is defined by its own signs and symptoms. The early stage of gingivitis can be more difficult to recognize due to the mild symptoms. Here is a list of the signs to be aware of when dealing with gum disease.
- Bleeding gums. Gums that easily bleed while brushing and flossing is the number one sign of gum disease.
- Tender, red, and swollen gums. The early stages of gum disease is sometimes marked by gums that are tender, red, or swollen.
- Bad breath. Because gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue, bad breath may be present during even the earliest stages of gum disease.
- Bleeding, tender gums. As with gingivitis, periodontitis is also marked by gums that easily bleed, and are tender, swollen, and red.
- Bad breath that doesn't go away. As the gum infection spreads, bad breath often increases and persists.
- Receding gums and tooth loss. Periodontitis causes the gums to pull away from the teeth and recede, which leads to loose teeth and eventually tooth loss. For our patients suffering from tooth loss in Jackson, dental implants are a popular treatment for tooth replacement. We invite you to schedule a consultation with one of our dentists to see if dental implants are right for you.
- Pus coming from gums. The advanced stages of gum disease may include pus leaking from the gums.
Treating Gum Disease.
The best option to dealing with gum disease is prevention. Daily thorough flossing and brushing combined with regular professional dental cleanings are the best defense against gum disease. It is important to seek treatment at the earliest signs of gum disease. Here are some of the most common treatments for gum disease:
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics are prescribed to kill the bacteria causing gum infection. For some patients, antibiotics may be the only treatment necessary. For others, antibiotics are often used in conjunction with other treatments.
- Root planing and scaling: Root planing and scaling is a process to clean the teeth down to the roots.
- Gingivectomy: A gingivectomy is a procedure in which diseased gum tissue is removed.
- Flap procedure: The flap procedure is used to treat severe gum disease. During this procedure, a flap is created by cutting the gum. This flap allows access to clean the tooth's roots and repair any jawbone damage caused by advanced gum disease. Once clean, the flap is replaced and the stitched back within the gums.
Schedule an Appointment Today.
Don't wait to seek treatment for gum disease. We welcome you to contact us to begin the path to a healthy smile.
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