Early symptoms of gum disease include gum bleeding without pain. Pain is a symptom of more advanced gum disease as the loss of bone around the teeth leads to the formation of gum pockets. Bacteria in these pockets cause gum infection, swelling, pain, and further bone destruction. Advanced gum disease can cause loss of otherwise healthy teeth.
Gum disease is caused by toxins secreted by bacteria in “plaque” that accumulate over time along the gum line. This plaque is a mixture of food, saliva, and bacteria.
How is gum disease treated?
Treatment of early gum disease involves oral hygiene and removal of bacterial plaque. Moderate to advanced gum disease usually requires a thorough cleaning of the teeth and teeth roots called “root planing” and “subgingival curettage.” Root planing is the removal of plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from exposed teeth roots while subgingival curettage refers to the removal of the surface of the inflamed layer of gum tissue. Both of these procedures are usually performed under local anesthesia and may be accompanied by the use of oral antibiotics to overcome gum infection or abscess.
What is Periodontitis?
It is a progressive inflammatory disease of the gums and the surrounding tissue around the teeth. It is commonly known as gum disease and was referred to as pyorrhea in the old days. It is estimated that up to 80% of the population above the age of 40 may suffer from this disease with the severity varying drastically from one person to another. Periodontitis is the number one cause of tooth loss after the age of 40.
If you notice any of the following signs, schedule an appointment immediately:
Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth.
Red, swollen or tender gums.
Gums that have pulled away from the teeth.
Bad breath that doesn’t go away.
Pus between your teeth and gums.
A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.