If you have noticed red, bleeding, and inflamed gums, you probably know something is not quite right — and, if you are like a lot of people, seeking treatment may not be high on your priority list, either. But you should know those are the top signs of gum disease, and that treating gum disease is vital for a healthy and lasting smile. Keep reading to find out more about the lasting effects of gum disease and how your Boston dentist can help treat it!
Effects of Gum Disease
Gum disease can have a significant impact on a smile. It starts out with bleeding gums when you brush and floss and then turns into persistent bad breath, receding gums, and gums that may bleed even when you eat. In the long term, gum disease causes tooth loss and puts people at a higher risk of experiencing a number of serious health conditions, including heart trouble, lung conditions, and, for pregnant women, premature labor/low birthweight.
Different Stages of Gum Disease
You may not notice gum disease right at first, when it is in the stage known as gingivitis. During this beginning phase, you can still reverse the condition with improved oral hygiene habits and a couple extra visits to your dentist. You will notice red, tender gums that bleed right at first.
After gum disease progresses, deep spaces or “pockets” between your gums and teeth will begin to form. These pockets are caused by bacteria and will continue damage healthy gum tissue, eventually leading to tooth loss. After a certain depth, gum disease can only be managed and never completely “cured.”
How to Treat Gum Disease
Partnering with a dentist is extremely important in battling gum disease. Routine checkups and cleanings at least every six months can help to prevent the condition from ever forming; but, if it does develop, your dentist can provide prompt treatment to prevent the more serious side effects from occurring.
Some of the ways to treat gum disease include:
- Scaling and root planing: The gold standard of gum disease treatment, this method involves cleaning above and below the gum line with special tools, removing bacteria and smoothing out the tooth’s root to prevent reinfection. Several rounds of this treatment are necessary to treat gum disease.
- Antimicrobial treatment: Because gum disease is a bacterial infection, applying an antibiotic directly to the infection can help to speed healing.
- Pocket reduction surgery: For more advanced cases of gum disease, surgical treatment may be required.
- Periodontal regeneration: When significant gum tissue has been lost, your dentist can perform regeneration treatments simultaneously with treatment or after to regrow the gums and enhance the form and function of the smile.
No matter which therapy or combination of treatments is right for you, the important thing is seeking professional help for gum disease right away. Your healthy and complete smile depends on it!
Meet the Team
Kraft & Schrott Dental Associates is where your friends and neighbors turn for a dentist in Boston. To learn more about their wonderful offerings or to schedule an appointment for periodontal therapy, do not hesitate to reach out by phone at (617) 227-4924.