Periodontal diseases usually occur when an infection and/or inflammation develops in the gums and bone surrounding the teeth. This is called gingivitis in its early stage. Patients with gingivitis will often notice red, swollen gums that can even bleed at times. If the gingivitis is left to worsen, it can develop into periodontitis. This is when the gums begin to pull away from the tooth, potentially resulting in bone loss or causing the tooth to loosen or even fall out. Usually seen in adults, periodontal disease is one of the two biggest threats to good oral health alongside tooth decay.
Periodontal disease can happen to anyone, but it is more commonly experienced by men, smokers and those living in poverty.
What causes periodontal or gum disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, often develops in the mouth when there is an infection in the tissues surrounding the tooth causing inflammation. If bacteria are allowed to remain on the tooth for long enough, a film called plaque develops, and that plaque eventually hardens into a substance called tarter or calculus. This build-up can extend below the gum line, making it difficult to clean and keep under control. At that point, only a dental health professional can remove the tartar and prevent the periodontal disease from progressing
Here are some signs and symptoms that you might be developing periodontal, or gum disease:
• Foul-smelling breath or a bad taste in your mouth that won’t go away
• Gums that are red, tender or swollen
• Gums that bleed easily
• Experiencing pain when chewing food
• Teeth that are loose or sensitive to touch or temperatures
• Gums that appear to be pulling away from your teeth – the appearance of small pockets between the gums and the teeth
• Changes in the alignment of your top and bottom teeth, or the way your teeth fit together when you close your jaw
• Changes in the way your partial dentures fit
How to prevent and treat gum disease:
The two simplest and most effective ways to prevent gum disease are a proper oral hygiene routine that includes twice-daily brushing and flossing, and regular visits to your general dentist in Edmonton. These actions can be instrumental in preventing gingivitis – the first step towards the development of gum disease. Even if you’ve already developed gingivitis, your South Edmonton dentist can usually catch it early when it’s still easy to treat.
While these problems are easiest to treat when identified early, more severe forms of periodontal disease can also be treated successfully with some more extensive treatment. These treatments may include performing a deep cleaning below the gums, or prescribing medications that can be taken orally or placed directly under the gums. Advanced periodontal disease may require corrective surgery.
If you’re concerned you may have gingivitis or are developing gum disease, call our team at Petrolia Dental today. We’ll book some time to assess your situation and provide guidance to help you choose a treatment plan that aligns with your unique situation.