Gum disease (periodontal disease) is caused by long-term exposure to plaque. Originating in the gums, gum disease occurs when infections form from bacteria left behind from eating, poor brushing and flossing habits. Gum disease is responsible for about 70 percent of adult tooth loss.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen, and tender gums.
- Gums that bleed easily during brushing or flossing.
If gum disease continues to advance the symptoms are easier to see, such as:
- Gums that pull away from the teeth.
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away.
- Pus coming from the gums.
- A change in how your teeth fit together when you bite.
- Loose teeth.
Gum disease is diagnosed through a process that measures the depth of the pockets around each tooth. Pockets that are greater than 3 millimeters in depth and bleed are considered infected and will generally require treatment. The early detection and prevention of gum disease is crucial and another reason to see your dentist regularly.
Treatment of Gum Disease
Gum disease is treated by carefully removing the bacteria and substances that form in the pockets around the teeth. The removal of this material occurs on a microscopic level and requires great skill.
This process of removing the bacteria usually requires several visits to our office. After the initial dental appointments to remove the bacteria, you will be placed on a regular appointment schedule called “periodontal maintenance” to keep your pockets free of bacteria.
Remember, it is always better to prevent disease than to treat disease.
Schedule an Appointment
If you think that you may have gum disease, or to schedule an exam and cleaning, call us today to schedule an appointment at (734) 464-8020.