The bacteria found in plaque and tartar doesn’t just harm the teeth. Those same bacteria can turn on the gums, causing inflammation that leads to gum disease.
The earliest manifestations of gum disease may come in the form of bleeding while flossing or swollen gums. These symptoms signal the mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis. In most cases, gingivitis can be addressed with a professional cleaning at the dentist’s office.
If left untreated, though, gingivitis can turn into more advanced forms of periodontal disease, such as periodontitis. Signs like receding gums or pockets in the gums likely indicate later stages of gum disease. The teeth may also begin to feel loose, as the bone that holds them in place begins to wear away.
In addition to the obvious, noticeable problems with the gums, other, more subtle signs may indicate periodontal disease, too. For example, the oral bacteria create odors, causing bad breath.
As periodontal disease progresses, a periodontist, who is a specialist focusing on the gums, will need to get involved in the treatment.
The periodontist can provide patients with a deep cleaning treatment known as scaling and root planing, in which the area between the gums and the teeth is cleaned and bacteria is cleared away.
Surgical interventions may also be needed to correct gum recession or reduce the size of large pockets in the gums.
Even after treatment, patients must take on the responsibility of warding off a recurrence of gum disease. Keep up with a daily oral hygiene regimen and break bad habits, like smoking, that can also exacerbate the condition.
Gum disease is a serious concern. It can lead to other problems like tooth and jawbone loss, and periodontal disease appears to be related to chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. If you’ve been experiencing any symptoms of periodontal disease, contact our dedicated and experienced team serving Manhattan for a thorough evaluation of your case and recommendations for treatment.