Why Advanced Gum Disease Requires a Dentist's Care

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The advanced form of gum disease, aka periodontitis, is a serious condition and one that requires dental care. While the earlier version gingivitis can sometimes be managed at home, the same just can't be said of periodontitis. If you're wondering why this is, read this simple guide to find out.

1. Tartar

When people think about tartar, many people think about cavities, but that's not all that tartar can do. Without adequate cleaning, tartar can build up on the gums and potentially cause gum disease. Unfortunately, tartar can only be cleared away by a dentist since the process requires specialized tools and training.

Think about it this way: bacteria is ultimately responsible for gum disease, and bacteria is also what produces plaque that turns into tartar. However, tartar makes matters worse because it can act as a bandage to prevent your regular brushing and flossing from reaching the infected portion of the gums.

2. Infection

When you have gum disease, you have a gum infection, plain and simple. When it's gingivitis, the infection is mild enough that the body can keep it in check. However, once it becomes periodontitis, the immune system can't beat it anymore.

In cases like this, there are two potential solutions. The first is to effectively clean the wound (your gums) of its debris and bacteria, and tartar. Then, the body stands a chance of being able to beat the illness from the inside. However, in some cases, antibiotics are required to fully beat it. In either case, seeing a dentist for help is a necessity.

3. Side Effects

Lastly, you need to see a dentist because certain side effects come with periodontitis that can't be treated at home and won't get better on their own.

One example of this is receding gums. Gums recede (or pull back and away from the teeth) when you have an advanced stage of gum disease. When this happens, it can expose parts of your teeth that don't have enamel, putting them at risk of developing cavities. This problem can be repaired by a dentist by using a small tissue graft. Unfortunately, your receded gums will never grow back to their full length all on their own. Getting help from a professional is a must.

Gum disease is something you don't want to have, so put in the effort to get it taken care of. Visit with a dentist, get your teeth and gums cleaned, and then go from there to repair the damage that's been done by periodontitis. And remember to keep a regular schedule of appointments so that this never happens to you again.