Gum disease, also known as gingivitis, is an inflammation of the gums, periodontal ligaments, and tooth sockets, which are the tissues that support the teeth. Gum disease commonly manifests itself as irritation, redness, and swelling of the gums, and is caused by the bacteria in plaque. Fortunately, it can be treated by your family dentist.
Leaving gum disease untreated can lead to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease wherein the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth to form pockets, which collect debris and thus become infected. The infection causes abscesses and destroys the gum tissue and bone surrounding the teeth, which eventually may become loose, fall out, or require removal.
What are the symptoms of periodontitis? You should see a dentist immediately if you notice swollen gums, bright red or purplish gums, gums that feel tender when touched, or gums that pull away from your teeth, making your teeth look longer than normal. Other symptoms of periodontitis include new spaces developing between your teeth, pus between your teeth and gums, bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth, loose teeth, or a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
Depending on the severity of your periodontitis, your dentist may recommend scaling, a procedure which removes tartar and plaque from beneath your gums and the surfaces of your teeth. You may need to undergo scaling and root planing, wherein the root surfaces are smoothed, which in turn prevents further buildup of tartar.
Your doctor may recommend antibiotics, which will help control any bacterial infection you are experiencing. There are also a number of surgical treatments that may help your periodontitis, so be sure to discuss all your options with your doctor.
For top-tier dental services in the Frederick, Maryland, area, don’t hesitate to call Premiere Dental Arts at (301) 662-0222. We will be more than happy to discuss your treatment options or to schedule an appointment for you.