Periodontal disease might sound unfamiliar, but it’s also known as gum disease. It’s not just the number one cause of tooth loss either. Recent studies have shown a clear association between risk factors for serious health conditions like heart disease and poor gum health. With over half of Americans age 30 and above experiencing periodontal disease, it’s important to learn more about gum health in general.
Also known as gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease is sometimes reversible. Prompt periodontal treatment at the first signs of trouble is the key to reversing the damage. These symptoms include:
As the disease progresses to periodontitis, more advanced symptoms include:
Healthy gums are pink, firm, and don’t have any visible redness to the edges. Even the slightest swelling or redness could indicate the beginning of gum disease. Visit us here at Gio Aldama, DMD Family Dentistry for prompt treatment if you suspect any problems. A quick response will prevent further damage.
If you don’t seek treatment during the gingivitis stage, you’ll move on to periodontitis. This stage involves infection in the pockets surrounding the tooth roots. Gum recession continues, leaving pockets larger and more prone to infection. Toxins and the body’s immune response combine to erode gum and bone tissue. Only treatment from a periodontist can save teeth at this stage.
There’s no guarantee that spotting any of the symptoms listed above is a sure sign of gum disease. However, even minor gum issues should be checked by your dentist. Discovering a dental problem as early as possible makes it far more comfortable and affordable to treat. Allowing even minor gum irritation or recession to continue unchecked will only make treatment more complicated in the future. If it’s nothing, we can give you tips on preventing any gum irritation or inflammation in the future.
The frenum is the small piece of tissue connecting your lip and lower gums together. When this tissue is overgrown, it can rub up against the gum tissue and irritate it. A quick trim could help reduce gum tissue loss in the lower jaw.
The most common treatment for mild to moderate gum disease is cleaning the tooth roots where the toothbrush can’t reach. Plaque builds up under the gum line and allows infection to spread down to the roots. Special dental tools are used to remove bacteria and tartar without disturbing the gum tissue too much.
If the gum disease progresses and pockets form around tooth roots, a procedure known as a gingivectomy may be needed. This is also called pocket reduction surgery or osseous surgery. A number of different treatments are used to restore the tooth roots and remove tartar and bacteria. This can prevent tooth loss, bone loss, and stop infection from spreading.
When dental implants are the restoration method of choice, a ridge augmentation procedure may be recommended. This helps rebuild the bone tissue, or alveolar ridge, that once sat where a tooth went missing. After a few years without a tooth in place, this tissue is lost and must be rebuilt from scratch. Not only it is required for many dental implant procedures, but it’s also recommended in some cases for aesthetic purposes.
A sinus lift or augmentation is a surgery to raise the sinus floor. This creates new bone tissue in the upper jaw, replacing tissue lost to gum disease or aging. It’s often a requirement for dental implant placement or recommended for aesthetic reasons.
When gum or bone tissue has been lost to advanced periodontal disease, there are still options for recovery and regeneration. Guided regeneration treatments help restore what’s lost with special surgical treatments.
Choose Gio Aldama, DMD Family Dentistry for all of your gum disease detection and treatment recommendations. Contact us today if you need an appointment or just have questions about gum health.