Periodontal (Gum) Treatments
Do your gums bleed when you brush? Do they look red, swollen, and irritated? Do you have bad breath you can’t get rid of with toothpaste and mouthwash?
All of these are common symptoms of periodontal or gum disease that The Philadelphia Dentist sees every day. Gum disease is a widespread problem that affects nearly half of all US adults over age 30. Early treatment of gum disease is essential to prevent it from threatening your overall oral health and ultimately causing tooth loss.
Checking for Gum Disease
In many cases, the symptoms of gum disease are so subtle that you may not notice them. That’s one reason why gum disease is so prevalent. Many people have infected gums and don’t even realize it.
That’s one reason our Northeast Philadelphia dentists emphasize the importance of routine dental checkups and teeth cleanings. Often, the only way patients know they have gum disease is because their dentist or hygienist finds it during these appointments.
Why We Need to Treat Gum Disease
Gum disease is an infection that’s often a sign that you’re not brushing and flossing well enough to keep your teeth clean. In this case, bacteria-filled plaque builds up along your gums and eventually hardens into a substance called calculus or tartar.
As your gums start to pull away from your teeth, pockets open up and give bacteria a place to collect. All the while, the infection is attacking your gums and the structures that support your teeth. If we don’t find and treat gum disease early on, it continues to spread and starts to break down the bone that holds your teeth in place. Without treatment, you may begin to lose your teeth.
What Gum Disease Treatment Involves
The gum disease treatment our Northeast Philadelphia dentists choose depends on the severity of the infection. There are two stages of gum disease:
- Gingivitis: At this stage, you’ll notice symptoms like bleeding or inflamed gums. Treating gingivitis involves a thorough cleaning to remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth and under the gum line. We’ll demonstrate proper brushing techniques to make sure your at-home efforts are productive.
- Periodontitis: Untreated gingivitis leads to periodontitis or advanced gum disease. At this stage, the infection has attacked soft tissue and supporting bone around your teeth. Periodontitis will eventually cause teeth to loosen or lead to tooth loss. Treatment involves a deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing and more frequent checkups to keep periodontitis under control.
Gum disease threatens your oral health and the stability of your teeth. The good news is that it is mostly preventable with regular checkups and teeth cleanings and conscientious oral hygiene at home.
Call The Philadelphia Dentist to Schedule
If you notice symptoms like bleeding or swollen gums, or it’s been a while since your last dental checkup, please call The Philadelphia Dentist. We’ll check to see if you have gum disease and then create a treatment plan to restore your healthy smile.