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Understanding Gum Disease: Symptoms and Treatment Options

March 25, 2024 / DENTISTRY
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Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common yet serious oral health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Despite its prevalence, many individuals are unaware of the early warning signs and potential consequences of untreated gum disease. In this article, we'll delve into the fundamentals of gum disease, its symptoms, and available treatment options to help you maintain optimal oral health.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that targets the tissues supporting your teeth, including gums, ligaments, and bone. It typically develops due to poor oral hygiene habits, allowing plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—to accumulate along the gumline. Over time, plaque hardens into tartar, leading to inflammation and irritation of the gums, known as gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into more advanced stages of gum disease, causing irreversible damage and potential tooth loss.

Recognizing the Symptoms

Early detection of gum disease is crucial for effective treatment and prevention of complications. Some common symptoms of gum disease include:

  1. Persistent bad breath
  2. Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
  3. Receding gumline or teeth appearing longer than usual
  4. Loose or shifting teeth
  5. Pain or sensitivity while chewing
  6. Pus between the teeth and gums
  7. Changes in the fit of dentures or bridges

If you experience any of these symptoms, it's essential to consult with us at St. Jacobs Dental Care promptly for a comprehensive evaluation and appropriate treatment.

Treatment Options

The treatment for gum disease depends on the severity of the condition. In the early stages, professional dental cleanings and improved oral hygiene practices can help reverse gingivitis and prevent further progression. This may involve scaling and root planing—a deep cleaning procedure to remove plaque and tartar buildup from below the gumline.

For more advanced cases of gum disease, your dentist may recommend additional interventions, such as:

  1. Antibacterial mouthwash or oral antibiotics to control infection
  2. Gum surgery to repair damaged tissues and reduce pocket depths
  3. Bone grafts or tissue regeneration procedures to restore lost bone and gum tissue
  4. Laser therapy to remove diseased tissue and promote healing

Maintaining a consistent oral care routine, including brushing twice daily, flossing regularly, and attending routine dental checkups, is essential for managing gum disease and preventing recurrence.

Take Control of Your Oral Health

Your oral health is an integral part of your overall well-being, and gum disease should not be taken lightly. By understanding the symptoms and treatment options available, you can take proactive steps to protect your smile and prevent the progression of gum disease.

If you suspect you may have gum disease or have concerns about your oral health, don't hesitate to contact us at St. Jacobs Dental Care. Our dental team is here to provide personalized care and guidance to help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.

Schedule your appointment today, by calling (519) 664-24234, and take the first step towards optimal oral health!

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