Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is the infection of the bone and tissues that hold your teeth in position. If the infection is not treated on time, the gums pull away or recede from the teeth and can cause serious dental problems.
Types of Gum Disease
- Gingivitis: Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums or gingiva that occurs when plaque accumulates on teeth. It is a non-destructive and reversible disease. However, if left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis.
- Periodontal Disease If the gum inflammation (gingivitis) is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis. Periodontal disease causes the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets where more bacteria can accumulate and cause an infection. If not quickly addressed, it can lead to tooth loss.
What Are the Causes of Gum Disease?
Gum disease develops when plaque formation extends below the gum line. The factors that cause gum disease include:
- Poor oral hygiene that allows plaque and tartar buildup
- Grinding or clenching your teeth
- Hormonal changes
- Certain medications that affect teeth
- Diseases that affect the condition of your gums, including cancer, diabetes, and HIV
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
People who have gum disease can experience symptoms such as:
- Swollen, red, or bleeding gums
- Tooth sensitivity caused by receding gums
- Bad breath
- Gums that feel tender when touched
- Abscessed teeth
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Deep pockets formed between gums and teeth
- Difficult or painful chewing
Treatments for Gum Disease
Your dentist will recommend any of the following treatment options depending on the severity of your gum disease.
- Scaling: Scaling is performed to eliminate the accumulation of plaque and calculus from the gum line and to smoothen the tooth’s surface.
- Over-the-Counter Medications: Your dentist may prescribe medications or a mouthwash that can effectively destroy the bacteria in your mouth.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery is required to decrease the progression of the gum disease and to regrow the lost or damaged bones.
Tips on Preventing Gum Disease
These tips can help prevent gum disease and keep your gums healthy:
- Practice proper oral hygiene such as limiting the intake of sugar, drinking more water, and brushing and flossing twice a day
- Quit smoking
- Follow a proper diet
- Avoid grinding or clenching your teeth
- Rinse your mouth with mouthwash after eating
- Schedule routine cleaning sessions with your dentist
If you are looking for high-quality and effective treatment for gum disease, contact our leading dentists in Des Moines at Plaza Dental Group.