If bacteria invades below your gumline, you’ll need a deep dental cleaning to restore your gums to health.
Regular dental cleaning and check-ups are important in maintaining good dental health.
There aren’t a lot of noticeable warning signs; there are signs that are usually overlooked. For example, bleeding on brushing. So what exactly is gum disease? Having a great smile isn’t just about healthy sparkling teeth, you also need healthy gums! If your gums aren’t healthy your teeth are at risk.
Understanding Gum Disease
The effects of gum disease (also called periodontal disease) can be very damaging to your oral health and your overall health. Gum disease is caused by a build up of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. If the plaque remains on your teeth, it can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth and form pockets. Plaque can also harden into tartar (calculus) along and under your gums.
Gum disease is an infection that comes from a buildup of bacteria on the teeth. If left untreated, it can cause gum recession, bone and/or tooth loss.. Patients that are at risk for gum disease need to be especially diligent about brushing and flossing regularly.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Receding gums (gums that are pulling away from the teeth)
- Loose teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
Stages of Periodontal Disease:
- Healthy Gums the gums look pink, stippled around the teeth. Your breath will not be affected by your teeth or mouth. The periodontal measurements are 1mm- 3mm.
- Early Periodontal Disease the gums show some inflammation and can have redness, tenderness or bleeding with brushing or flossing. Usually, there is bad breath and/or a bad taste. The periodontal measurement is 4.0 mm. There is mild bone loss and but no tooth mobility.
- Moderate Periodontal Disease the gums show medium inflammation and have redness, tenderness, and bleeding with brushing or flossing. The periodontal measurement is 4.0, 6.0 mm. There is more bone loss and gum swelling with possible tooth mobility.
- Severe Periodontal Disease the gums have increasing inflammation with redness, tenderness, and bleeding with brushing or flossing. The periodontal measurement is 7.0 mm or greater with significant bone loss. Probable tooth mobility and possible tooth loss are expected in the near future.
What to Expect?
Gum disease is often hard to notice and self diagnose. It usually shows no symptoms until it has become more severe. That is why it is important to get regular checkups. Usually, treatment is aimed at reducing the bacteria causing the disease to make the gums healthier and keep the gum disease from progressing. After you have received a full examination, Dr. Gelfand will let you know the condition of your oral health. If you do have gum disease, root planning is performed to remove the bacterial deposits that have formed beneath the gum line. We will use ultrasonic techniques and hand scaling to make the treatment as comfortable and as minimally invasive as possible. This includes smoothing rough spots on the root that could trap bacteria. This will help you have better reattachment of your gums to the tooth. Then we will schedule periodontal maintenance appointments on a regular basis to determine how your gums are doing. Don’t forget flossing twice per day, improving brushing effectiveness, and having more frequent professional dental cleanings will help restore oral health!