Periodontitis, also known as gum disease, is a common problem. Most cases only go as far as tenderness and soft gums, but without the proper periodontal care, periodontitis can lead to loss of tissue and bone around the teeth and ultimately loss of the teeth themselves.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
Periodontitis can be caused by a number of factors, including poor oral hygiene, smoking and conditions that compromise the immune system, such as diabetes. Whatever the cause, the following symptoms indicate a need for additional periodontal care:
- Swelling gums
- Bleeding or pain after brushing or flossing
- Receding gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Loose teeth
People suffering any of these symptoms should consult a dentist right away to prevent further damage to their teeth and gums.
What you can expect at your visit
During the first visit, the dentist performs an exam and takes X-rays to assess the severity of gum disease and to determine the right course of periodontal care. For mild cases, the treatment generally involves a teeth scaling to remove plaque, followed by a discussion about proper dental care and oral hygiene. The dentist may also schedule a follow-up to make sure the treatments were successful.
If the disease is more advanced, or if the initial treatment wasn’t successful, the dentist moves to more aggressive techniques, including open flap debridement to scrape under the gum line or grafting to replace worn-away bone. Following these treatments, follow-up visits are scheduled to manage the disease and prevent further damage. In some cases, patients may be referred to a periodontal specialist.
Regular dental checkups, good oral hygiene and healthy eating habits can prevent gum disease or slow the progression. When periodontal care is needed, Hanover Family Dentistry is there to treat patients in the fight against gum disease.