Periodontal disease, one of the most common oral health issues among adult patients, generally starts out as gingivitis, or the buildup of bacteria-filled plaque that can cause irritation, redness, and inflammation in the gums along the base of your teeth. At this early stage, gum disease can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, along with routine professional dental care.
Untreated gingivitis can ultimately lead to periodontitis, or advanced gum disease. This happens when your gums recede from your teeth, forming spaces or pockets that can easily become infected. During this stage, the additional bacteria in your mouth and your body’s own immune response begin to break down the soft tissues and bones that keep your teeth in place. In the worst-case form of the disease, tooth loss is common.
Healthy gums are firm, pale pink, and fit tightly around your teeth. Because gingivitis, or early gum disease, generally isn’t painful and can progress with few obvious symptoms, it’s important to recognize the early signs:
As it progresses into periodontal disease, you may begin to experience more severe symptoms, including:
Gum disease doesn’t always impact your entire mouth, particularly if it’s in its beginning stages. It’s possible for the disease to affect only certain teeth, such as your molars. Dr. Milana can diagnose gum disease, determine its stage, and develop an effective treatment plan.
Common treatments for periodontal disease include:
Scaling removes plaque from below your gums, while root planing smooths the tooth root and helps the gums reattach to the tooth.
This non-surgical treatment helps reduce inflammation and may remove bacteria from root surfaces.
This procedure carefully removes tartar and collected debris from the root surface of the tooth.
Flap surgery can help repair deep pockets that remain after other interventions, while bone and tissue grafts may be necessary to help regenerate any tissues lost to the disease
The best way to prevent gingivitis and advanced periodontal disease is by practicing excellent dental hygiene. This includes:
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