Healthy gums equal healthy teeth. Prevent periodontal disease with regular visits to Dr. Ian Gray Dental Group.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Your gums, the soft pink tissue that covers your jaw bones, are an essential component in supporting your teeth, keeping them from shifting around in your mouth. When gums are healthy, they can do their job without a problem. However, when your gums get infected, they will begin to pull away from your teeth, putting your oral health at risk.
The blanket term for an infection in the gums is periodontal disease. You may also hear the terms gingivitis, referring to the early stages of periodontal disease, and periodontitis, when it becomes more advanced. It can be difficult to detect periodontal disease on your own. You need an experienced dental professional to examine your teeth and gums for the subtle signs of gum disease.
What are the signs and symptoms of Periodontal Disease?
About 50% of adults have some form of periodontal disease, and most are completely unaware. Periodontal disease can be difficult to detect on your own because the signs and symptoms are not always obvious. There is rarely any pain associated with gingivitis in the early stages. However, Dr. Ian Gray is an expert at identifying the signs of periodontal disease, including:
- Red, puffy, tender gums
- Gums that bleed easily
- Receding gums (teeth begin to appear longer)
- Persistent bad breath
- Loose or sensitive teeth
If periodontal disease is left untreated, it can eventually cause tooth loss. In the most severe cases, the bacteria that cause the infection can enter your bloodstream through the gums and could then spread to your heart, lungs, and other body parts.
How do I prevent Periodontal Disease?
Your best defense against periodontal disease is good oral hygiene that includes regular dental examinations and cleanings. Brushing and flossing every day and visiting our office every six months minimizes your risk of getting an infection in your gums. As Dr. Gray is an expert at spotting periodontal disease, our hygienists are experts at removing the plaque and tartar buildup that irritates your gums and leads to infection.
What do I do if I am diagnosed with Periodontal Disease?
When periodontal disease is caught early, we can recommend a relatively simple treatment plan that may include a deep cleaning and special instructions for oral hygiene at home. However, as periodontal disease develops, it becomes increasingly difficult to treat. Severe cases of periodontitis require extensive treatments, including root planing and scaling, which involves scraping the roots of your teeth smooth and treating the gums with antibacterial medication to stop the existing infection. Root planing and scaling can save your teeth by making it tough for bacteria to stick to the roots under the gum line. This in turn allows gums to heal and reattach to the teeth.
Benefits of detecting and treating periodontal disease early:
- Early detection saves you time and money, and a lot of discomfort because treatment is simpler, less invasive, and requires fewer office visits.
- Early detection gives you the best chance at making a full recovery. The longer you wait to treat periodontal disease, the longer it will take to restore your gums to full health.
Your gums serve an essential function in your mouth. Keeping them healthy is a major aspect of your overall dental health.
Take initiative with your oral hygiene and get a dental examination and cleaning every six months to defend against periodontal disease.
If you have not had an oral examination in some time or suspect you may have periodontal disease, please contact us as soon as possible to book an appointment with Dr. Ian Gray at Newmarket’s most trusted dentist.