Gum disease is inflammation and infection in the gums, the soft tissue in the mouth that surrounds the teeth. It most commonly occurs due to a buildup of plaque and tartar. Plaque is a sticky film of harmful bacteria and food debris, and tartar is hardened plaque. These accumulate with a lack of proper oral hygiene care, which causes irritation of the gums.
Irritated gums can be tender, swollen, and prone to bleeding, and can form pockets as they pull back from the teeth. These pockets can trap additional bacteria and food debris, resulting in infection. This infection can spread to your jawbone and cause bone loss and eventual tooth loss.
Signs of Gum Disease
Some of the most common signs of gum disease are:
- Bleeding gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Darkened gums
- Gum recession
- Tooth sensitivity and pain
- Tender, puffy gums
- Teeth loosening
Treatment Varies Based on the Severity of Gum Disease
Gingivitis is early-stage gum disease. It is characterized by mild inflammation. This can often be reversed with improved oral hygiene, a healthier diet, and a professional cleaning at the dentist.
Periodontitis, when the gums have become infected, is more severe gum disease that can cause permanent tissue loss without treatment. Treatment can include a deep cleaning that involves scaling and root planing, antibiotics, and/or laser gum therapy to remove diseased tissue and control the infection. Periodontitis cannot be treated at home and may require multiple treatments at the dentist to combat the issue.
Schedule Your Biannual Dental Cleaning & Exam!
If you struggle with consistent brushing and flossing, gum disease can creep up on you. Gum health is just as crucial as your tooth health because your gums help anchor your teeth in place. We recommend getting biannual dental cleanings and checkups so your dental team can identify signs of gum disease early. The sooner you catch gum disease, the easier it will be to treat and potentially reverse altogether!
At Serenity Dental Studio, we provide comprehensive dental care, including periodontal treatment, to help patients enjoy excellent oral health. Please contact our office to schedule your next checkup!