Proper brushing and regular visits to your dentist are imperative for healthy teeth and gums. Unfortunately, discoloration, tooth decay, bad breath, and cavities are common even in patients who practice good oral hygiene habits and visit their dentist on a regular schedule. While many issues affect your smile's appearance, other conditions can lead become serious health concerns. Considering half of American adults suffer from gum disease, learning the signs of this dangerous condition is smart. Using this guide, you will learn the signs for gum disease and determine the best treatment for the condition.
Gum Disease: How and Why
Brushing twice a day is necessary for clean smiles, but it is also important for removing the plaque that builds up on the surface of your teeth. This film sticks to your teeth, which can lead to unappealing stains. Of course, the real concern of plaque is the bacteria.
Bacteria contain acidic properties that erode the surface enamel of your teeth. This damage to your enamel increases your risk of cavities, tooth decay, and gingivitis, and early stage of gum disease.
Signs of Gum Disease
In most cases, gum disease does not cause pain, so many patients are not aware they have the condition. However, there are some physical signs of gum disease. If you are experiencing the following signs, consult your dentist at a site like http://bruceparkerdmd.com/ immediately:
- Continuous Bad Breath (Halitosis)
- Red Gums
- Swollen and Tender Gums
- Light Bleeding of Gums after Brushing, Flossing, or Chewing
- Receding Gum Line
- Brittle Teeth
- Loose Teeth
- Changes in Bite
- Discomfort while Brushing, Flossing, or Chewing
- Serious Infections
After a series of x-rays and a routine visual exam, your dentist will determine if you have gum disease.
The best treatment will depend on your specific case of gum disease. To treat an early stage of gum disease, or gingivitis, one of the following options are available:
- Cleaning – Recommended twice per year, professional cleanings are great for preventing gum disease. However, many dentists use a cleaning to remove the plaque buildup in patients with minor cases of gingivitis.
- Scaling and Root Planning – Scaling the plaque away from the gum line and smoothing out the uneven spots of the teeth are also non-invasive treatment options for patients with gum disease.
Treating gingivitis is an easy process, but surgeries and medications are often necessary for more involved cases of gum disease. Here are a few options to consider:
- Flap Surgery – This surgical procedure involves lifting the gums to remove plaque and then reconnecting the tissue in a tight, secure manner.
- Tissue Grafts – Since the disease causes the gums to recede, the damaged tissue will need reinforcement. Tissue graft surgeries remove healthy tissue from the roof of your mouth and attach it to the affected gums. This procedure protects exposes roots while preventing further gum tenderness and recession.
Treatment for Tooth Loss
Gum disease causes 70 percent of adult tooth loss due to the condition's decay, infection, and cavities. Of course, your smile does not have to be missing one or more teeth. Repairing your smile is possible using implants.
Dental implants are realistic and durable options for patients who prefer a permanent tooth replacement. After extracting affected teeth, your dentist will surgically place an implant in the jawbone. The implant holds one or more artificial teeth, which are fabricated in a lab to match your existing teeth.
If implant surgery is not appealing, consider replacing your teeth with removable dentures or a partial bridge.
It is important to note that gum disease is a serious condition that requires professional treatment. Using this guide, you will understand the causes, signs, and best treatment options for your specific case of gum disease.