When you’re dealing with dental issues, it’s only natural to want prompt and effective treatment from an experienced dentist who truly cares about you. Periodontal disease is one type of common dental problem that warrants such treatment. What is periodontal disease? What are the symptoms and how is it treated? We will address these important questions in more detail below.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease refers to a spectrum of inflammatory conditions that affect the gums. Periodontal disease can be mild or severe. In mild cases, there may be nothing present other than minor gum inflammation. In more severe cases of periodontal disease, the gums can begin to pull away from the teeth. This can eventually lead to tooth loss and other serious issues.
What are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?
There are several common symptoms of periodontal disease. Not all cases are exactly the same, so you may not have all of the symptoms listed below. If you have any of them, however, it makes sense to have a thorough dental check-up right away.
- Red or swollen gums that appear inflamed
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away with brushing
- Gums that are tender or bleed easily
- Pain upon eating or chewing food
- Gums that appear to be receding
- Loose or sensitive teeth
Periodontal disease is fairly common, and the risk of developing it increases with age. While not everyone with the following risk factors will develop gum disease, the following things can increase your risk of having this problem arise in the future.
Risk factors include:
- Diabetes and other serious health conditions
- Medication use
- Family history of gum disease
What Treatment Options are Available for Periodontal Disease?
Several treatment options exist for controlling gum disease. Your dentist will be able to recommend the best treatment option after carefully examining your mouth, teeth, and gums.
The main goal of treatment is to control any underlying infection of the gums. Uncontrolled gum infections will cause the condition to worsen and can result in the loss of teeth. Your dentist may choose to treat you with oral antibiotics or an antibacterial mouthwash.
Secondary to controlling the infection, a deep cleaning of all teeth is performed using a process called scaling. This removes any plaque and tartar buildup that has accumulated below the gum line.
Why are Teeth Cleanings Important to Oral Health?
A skilled periodontist can perform deep cleanings to assist with the treatment and control of periodontal disease. Teeth cleanings are vital to maintaining a healthy oral cavity, even if you do not currently have any signs of gum disease.
Our mouths are full of bacteria on a continual basis. Brushing and flossing alone don’t necessarily remove all bacteria that can develop deep within the crevices between and around teeth. While self-care is also very important, getting regular teeth cleanings by a skilled periodontist should be a vital step in your oral hygiene routine.
How Can You Prevent Periodontal Disease in the Future?
Periodontal disease can usually be prevented with exceptional oral care and regular dental cleanings from a skilled dentist. Even if you have already dealt with the problem, you have a great degree of control in preventing it from recurring. Always brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. Also, schedule regular screenings and teeth cleanings with your dentist to maintain the health of your gums and teeth.
When dental problems arise, fast and effective treatment options are your main concern. It’s important to have access to a qualified dentist who truly cares about your long-term dental health. You only have one set of teeth to last a lifetime. The good news is that if you take good care of your mouth and see your dentist for regular cleanings, you can have healthy teeth and gums for decades to come.
During your first visit with Olympic Dental, we will perform a periodontal evaluation in order to determine the type of dental cleaning that best suits your needs.