Gum Disease Therapy 

Gum disease describes the events that begin with bacterial growth in your mouth and may end- if not properly treated- with tooth loss due to irreversible  destruction  of the tissue and bone that surround your teeth.
 
In the early stage of gingivitis gums become inflamed (red and swollen) and often bleed.  At this stage the teeth are still firmly planted in the jaw bone.  Left untreated, gingivitis will ultimately lead to Periodontal (gum) disease.  Gum disease is an irreversible infection defined by bone loss around teeth.
 
Gingivitis and gum disease is caused by bacteria found in plaque and tartar that was not properly removed.  Improper brushing and lack of flossing are two contributing causes of this disease affecting the supporting gum tissue and bone.  Gum disease is not genetic.

 

Gum disease usually progresses painlessly producing few obvious signs even in the late stages of the infection.  Although the symptoms of gum disease often are subtle, the condition is not entirely without warning signs.  Certain symptoms may point to some form of the disease.

Symptoms include:

 
Gums that bleed during and after brushing

Red, swollen, or tender gums
Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
Receding gums
Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
Loose or shifting teeth
Changes in the way teeth fit together

 


Once a dentist diagnoses gum disease immediate treatment is necessary to save your teeth. The goals of early gum disease treatment are to promote reattachment of healthy gums to teeth; reduce gingival swelling; and the risk of infection; and to stop the disease progression which will lead to tooth loss. Treatment options depend on the stage of the disease. Options range from nonsurgical therapy to control bacterial growth to surgery to restore supportive tissues and bone.

At least once a year everyone should have a complete dental and periodontal evaluation. Early detection of infections, diseases, and cavities allows for much more conservative and successful treatment versus waiting until things are advanced.