Periodontal disease symptoms don’t always seem alarming at first. Also called gum disease, the disease is common in both children and adults. Fortunately, periodontal disease treatments, offered by your Phoenix, AZ, dentists, Dr. Gary Steen, Dr. Linda Beguin, and Dr. Whitney Sebree, can help you protect your gums and teeth.
Why is periodontal disease dangerous?
Your teeth are held in place by gum tissue, ligaments, and bones. Periodontal disease not only damages your gums but can also affect bones and ligaments. Severe gum disease may cause your teeth to loosen or even fall out.
Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your oral health. If the bacterial infection that causes the disease spreads, your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, and other health problems may increase. Luckily, gum disease treatment can help you avoid these serious consequences.
How can I tell if I have periodontal disease?
Gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease, causes your gums to become red, tender, and swollen. Inflamed gums are painful and tend to bleed easily. You may see blood on dental floss or notice that your toothbrush looks pink, even though you used white toothpaste.
Other gingivitis symptoms include receding gums and chronic bad breath. Treatment for gingivitis is simple and involves a dental cleaning and better oral hygiene.
If gingivitis isn’t treated by your Phoenix dentist, you may develop the more severe form of periodontal disease. Pain, bleeding, bad breath and receding gums will continue and probably worsen. A deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar above and below your gum line can be helpful at this stage.
Eventually, you’ll notice pockets between your teeth and gums if your disease isn’t successfully treated. Bacteria collects in these deep spaces and soon begins to attack the structures that hold your teeth in place. At this stage, you may need surgery to close your pockets and gum and bone grafts to replace damaged or destroyed bone and gum tissue. Bridges, dentures or dental implants may be needed to restore lost teeth.
How can I prevent periodontal disease?
Good oral hygiene is a crucial factor in keeping your gums and teeth healthy. Brush twice daily for at least two minutes, and floss once a day. Be sure to visit the dentist every six months for dental cleanings. The cleanings remove plaque and tartar, two substances that are factors in periodontal disease.