Living with an untreated gum disease can be debilitating and can lead to more serious health issues. Many people tend to delay treatment for gum disease, because at an early stage it doesn’t cause much pain. It is important to know the signs of an impending gum disease and how it can be treated. If you are looking to find out more, read on…
What is gum disease?
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is an infection in the gums caused by bacteria that had gotten caught underneath the gums. These infections can lead to the gums and teeth eroding eventually resulting in tooth loss and other health issues, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
The early stage of a gum disease is called gingivitis, during this stage the infection manifests as inflammations. The gums would turn red and swollen, eventually bleeding especially during regular brushing. A later stage of gum disease is called periodontitis. At this stage, the infection can lead to erosion of the bones and tissue surrounding the teeth. If left further, the teeth affected would start loosening and then fall off.
Causes and Symptoms of gum disease
There are many factors that can lead to one catching gum disease, causes can range from having an illness to bad dental hygiene. Here are causes for gum disease:
- Bad dental hygiene leading to heavy plaque and tartar buildup.
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to vulnerability to plaque buildup and gum inflammation.
- Smoking weakens the body’s immune system.
- Taking medication that causes dry mouth (saliva is needed to keep the teeth clean)
- Having an illness that affects the immune system such as HIV, cancer or diabetes.
It is common that people do not experience any discomfort or symptoms during the early onset of the disease. Prevention and early treatment is essential as there is no cure to gum disease, just treatments to manage it. If you are concerned, here are symptoms of gum disease to look out for:
- Gums bleed easily
- Red, swollen and painful gums
- Pain on the gums when brushing teeth
- Difficulty chewing food from pain in gums
How gum disease is treated
Non surgical treatment
- Scaling and root planing
Scaling, also known as deep cleaning, is the removal of tartar and plaques from the teeth surface. Root planing always comes after scaling. The procedure is smoothing the root of the tooth, hindering further buildup and infection.
Antibiotics can help control the bacterial infection. Topical or oral antibiotics are available as treatment.
- Flap surgery (Pocket reduction surgery)
This procedure involves lifting the gums back to remove tartar. The gums are then placed back nicely to hug the tooth.
- Bone grafts
Bone grafts take fragments of your own bone, synthetic bone, or donated bone to replace the bones destroyed by periodontitis. This encourages the bone to regrow.
- Soft tissue grafts
Gum disease causes the gums to recede. Soft tissue grafting takes a small amount of tissue from the roof of your mouth or another donor source, and attaches it to the affected area to reinforce it. This not only helps with reducing the recession but also gives the gums a better look.
- Guided tissue regeneration
This procedure stimulates bone and gum tissue growth. Done after flap surgery, the procedure involves inserting a small piece of mesh-like fabric between the bone and gum. This keeps the gum tissue from growing into the area where the bone should be, allowing the bone and connective tissue to regrow to better support the teeth.
- Bone surgery
Bone surgery is also an alternative procedure done after a flap surgery. It involves smoothing craters in the bone and reshaping it to reduce future bacterial buildup.
- Tissue stimulating proteins
This procedure involves applying a special gel that contains the same proteins found in developing tooth enamel to the diseased tooth root to stimulate the growth of healthy bone and tissue.
If you are in Stamford and you are looking for treatment to treat gum disease.. At Stamford Dental Spa we have trained and highly experienced professionals that can provide you with the proper dental care you and your loved ones need. Give us a call at (203) 324-7777 to book an appointment.