Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease, and is an infection of the gums that surround the teeth. Gum disease is one of the largest contributors to tooth loss in adults in America. Many patients don’t know they have gum disease until it’s too late. We are committed to treating any periodontal disease with an individualized plan that works for you.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum (periodontal) disease is caused by a buildup of plaque around the teeth where the bone teeth the gums. Plaque is a sticky form of bacteria that develops around the teeth. If left untreated, the plaque will continue to build up and can damage your gums. Periodontal disease forms just below the gum line and creates small pockets that separate the gums from the teeth. Periodontal disease has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Gingivitis: This is the early stage of gum disease, where the gums become red and swollen, and prone to bleeding. At this stage, the disease is treatable and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing.
- Periodontitis: If left untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. The gums and bone that support the teeth will become seriously and irreversibly damaged. At this stage, the teeth can fall out or require professional extraction.
Am I at Risk?
You may be at risk for developing periodontal disease if you:
- Are a heavy smoker
- Have diabetes
- Are taking certain types of medication (i.e. steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives)
- Have bridges that no longer fit properly
- Have crooked teeth
- Have old fillings
- Are or may be pregnant
What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
- Bleeding gums
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
How is Gum Disease Treated?
Treatments for gum disease can vary depending on how severe each individual case may be. Typical treatments include:
- Non-surgical treatments such as at-home periodontal trays, and scaling and root planing (deep cleaning)
- Periodontal surgery and laser gum surgery
- Dental implants
Are You Looking for Gum Disease Treatment in Trinity or New Port Richey?
It is important that you are attending regular dental checkups and periodontal exams with your dentist. Remember to brush regularly, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits to help keep your smile healthy and looking good for years to come.