Gum disease is an infection of the gum tissue that holds your teeth in place. Most commonly caused by inadequate oral hygiene, gum disease occurs when plaque buildups on the teeth and hardens. In its first stage, known as gingivitis, the gums are typically irritated, but the teeth are still secure in the sockets and no irreversible bone or tissue damage has occurred. Symptoms may include bleeding or swollen gums and halitosis (chronic bad breath). When gingivitis is not addressed, it will advance to periodontitis, which is a severe infection of the gum tissue.
Individuals with periodontitis will notice gum tissue pulling away from the teeth and forming pockets, as well as loose or shifting teeth.
In all cases of gum disease, it’s important to dramatically improve oral hygiene at home in order to eliminate harmful bacteria and prevent plaque buildup. Other treatments may include:
The most important thing you can do for your gum health is to practice good oral hygiene techniques including brushing twice daily and flossing every day. It’s also important to maintain routine dental visits so any signs of gum disease can be caught early.
People with severe or advanced disease around their gums and the tissues that support their teeth are usually candidates for periodontal surgery. If you have gum disease, your symptoms might include:
We will let you know if you could benefit from periodontal surgery. Our dentist might recommend more conservative treatment approaches if your gum disease isn’t advanced.