A major part of your oral health is the condition of your gums. As we get older, conditions such as gingivitis and periodontitis become a more common problem, and can lead to more serious issues, such as tooth loss. Gum disease can have multiple causes, such as not brushing enough, smoking, stress and poor diet. Gum disease can also be hereditary or contributed to a weakened immune system due to conditions like diabetes, AIDS or leukemia. Hormonal changes during pregnancy also make expecting mothers more prone to gum disease.
Gingivitis is the term used to describe inflammation of the gums, while periodontitis is the more advanced stage when the gum starts to pull away from the tooth. Treatment depends on the severity of the problem. Mild gingivitis may be resolved by proactive oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings while more serious cases can require a more advanced procedure or even surgery. If you’ve been noticing symptoms of gum disease, such as tender and inflamed gums that bleed often, bad breath, loose teeth and pus coming from your gums, be sure to come in for an examination as soon as possible. The earlier gum disease is caught, the easier (and less expensive) it is to treat.
Basic treatments for periodontal (gum) disease include tooth scaling and root planing. Both treatments involved scraping off tartar above and below your gums, then smoothing out rough spots on each tooth’s root, so bacteria cannot remain on the teeth and gums as easily. Flap surgery may also be performed where the tartar is removed from pockets and formed alongside teeth. In some cases, when bone and tissue have deteriorated, grafts may be necessary to replace the infected areas. Guided tissue regeneration is another treatment that allows for bone and tissue to grow by itself. If you’re experiencing issues, don’t hesitate to make an appointment today.