Gum disease is one of the most serious dental conditions affecting patients of all ages. It is the leading cause of tooth loss and has been linked to multiple other chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke. The early stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis and is marked by gum inflammation.
Gingivitis is easy to treat but requires more frequent dental cleanings in our dentist office. Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease and can cause permanent damage to the gum tissue. Severe gum disease requires intensive treatment to address damage and restore the teeth and gums.
Dr. Sahil Goyal works with patients on an individual basis to diagnose and treat gum disease. At the Frederick Center for Dentistry, we help patients manage gum disease with preventative care and conservative dental solutions. You can contact our Frederick, Maryland dental office by calling 301.264.5680 or scheduling an appointment with us online.
Gum Disease: Risks and Symptoms
Some patients may be at a higher risk of developing gum disease because of family history, smoking or tobacco use, or improper oral hygiene. Gum disease is known as a silent disease because many patients do not experience any obvious signs or symptoms until advanced stages of the disease. It is important that patients visit the dentist at least twice a year so that we can screen for evidence of gum disease.
Some of the more common symptoms include:
- Sore gums
- Bleeding gums
- Gum recession
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath (Halitosis)
- Mouth sores
Treating Gum Disease
Patients who have advanced gum disease may be referred to a periodontist for more intense treatment or surgery. Dr. Goyal will work with the periodontist to coordinate a treatment plan that will treat the gum disease and then restore teeth that have been lost or damaged by disease in his office.
Scaling and root planing are procedures used in tandem. Scaling removes plaque and calculus (tartar) from beneath the gum tissues. Root planing smooths down the tooth roots so that they can easily attach to the tooth. Laser dentistry allows our dentists to remove infected gum tissue.
Patients may feel intimidated from laser dentistry, but this method of treatment is comfortable and safe for both patients and dentists. Antibacterial rinses and antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent infection from returning after treatment in our office.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to brush and floss your teeth every day. Be gentle with brushing, as brushing aggressively can cause gum recession. Regular biannual dental checkups and professional cleanings are also an important part of maintaining gum and tooth health. Our dental hygienists use specialized instruments and techniques to reach areas that your toothbrush and floss can’t.
It is also possible to detect early forms of gum disease by evaluating your gum tissue. We can assess the health of your teeth and gums by taking x-rays. If you have any concerns about your gum health, or if you have noted symptoms of developing gum disease, contact our office.
Periodontal Disease Treatment FAQs
Which form of periodontal disease is reversible?
The only reversible stage of periodontal disease is the first stage, gingivitis. This can be reversed due to the fact that the infection has not yet spread to the bone. The most typical symptom during the initial stages is bleeding gums.
What is periodontitis caused by?
The accumulation of plaque and bacteria on the teeth is a leading cause of periodontal condition. Periodontal disease symptoms include red, swollen, and bleeding gums that, if left untreated, can cause difficulty chewing, pain, and ultimately tooth loss.
How is periodontitis diagnosed?
During a periodontal examination, your dentist or dental hygienist will determine if you have periodontal disease. Your regular dental checkup should always include an examination like this. Professionals are the only people who are able to diagnose periodontitis.
Will I lose my teeth if I have periodontal disease?
Having periodontitis, a severe gum infection, can result in tooth loss and other serious health complications. Gum disease, or periodontitis, is an infection of the gums that can spread to the supporting bone if left untreated. If treated properly it should not result in tooth loss, however this is a possibility the further the disease spreads.
Can antibiotics cure periodontitis?
Antibiotics can treat gum disease in its early stages, however they should not be the only course of treatment.