Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. It’s typically caused by poor brushing and flossing habits that allow plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—to build up on the teeth and harden. It starts with swollen, red, and bleeding gums. If left untreated, it can spread to the bones surrounding the gums, making it painful to chew. In the worst cases, teeth may become loose or need to be removed.
What causes Gum Disease?
Dental plaque that is not removed every day can harden and form tartar, and tartar build-up can lead to gum disease.
There are several risk factors for gum disease, but smoking is the most significant. Smoking also can make treatment for gum disease less successful. Other risk factors include hormonal changes in girls and women; certain illnesses, such as diabetes or AIDS and their medications; and genetics.
How do I know I have gum disease?
Some common signs and symptoms to look for are
|Gums may be red, swollen, tender, or bleeding.
The gums may pull away from the teeth making them appear longer.
|Loose or sensitive teeth.
Pain while chewing.
|Persistent bad breath.
As the infection spreads from the gum surface to deeper structures underneath ( root surface and jaw bone), it’s called periodontitis
What can I do to treat gum disease?
The main goal is to remove the plaque and tartar (source of infection) as it’s nothing but a pool of bacteria.
You need professional cleaning as the first step towards treating gum disease. The number and types of treatments if further required will vary, depending on the extent of the gum disease. All types of treatment require that you keep up good daily care at home.
We may also suggest changing or modifying certain behaviors, such as brushing techniques and quitting smoking, as a way to improve your treatment results.