Gum disease – signs you have it and what to do about it
Are you facing signs of gum disease? Are you aware of the signs of gum disease? If you are facing discomfort along your gum line, you probably need periodontal therapy from a well-respected dentist such as Dr. Steven Hatcher, who has been providing top quality care in the Greensboro, NC area for years. It is his goal to provide an experience that is both comfortable and which leaves you in great oral health.
Periodontal therapy – what is it?
As you progress through life, it’s important that you maintain a proper oral hygiene regimen that includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing along with regular visits to the dentist (for exams and cleanings). Most people, when thinking of oral hygiene, can tend to focus on the teeth while forgetting about the teeth’s support system which include the gums and supporting bone structure.
One major threat to the tooth’s support system is a bacterial infection called gum disease. With regular dental visits, dentists, such as Dr. Hatcher are vigilant when it comes to looking for early signs of this disease. This is especially important because many patients may not be aware of the signs or symptoms of gum disease. When symptoms are detected, periodontal therapy may be recommended.
The aim of periodontal therapy, in all different forms, is to rehabilitate infected gum tissue back to good health. When gum disease is left unchecked, it can accelerate and move from the gums to the supporting bone structure and, in the end, cause tooth loss. Procedures such as deep cleaning/scaling can remove the plaque and calculus from beneath the gum line. More invasive procedures such as oral surgery may even be required if restoration of destroyed bone tissue is needed.
Phases and symptoms of gum disease
Periodontal therapy is required in the deterrence and treatment of periodontitis, a serious infection of the gums. This infection is caused when bacteria has been allowed to accumulate on the teeth and gums.
Periodontitis develops over stages, with each stage increasingly imperiling your oral health as it progresses. These stages include:
- Inflammation – The first stage is gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums and is normally evident when you notice your gums bleeding during normal brushing and flossing.
- Early periodontal disease – as your gums start pulling back from your teeth, tiny pockets become exposed in this area where the gums have receded and it’s in these pockets where harmful bacteria can now develop and begin wreaking havoc. Your body will naturally begin to fight this infection, causing the gum tissue to recede. During this stage you will continue to see blood when you brush and floss, and bone loss can begin to occur.
- Moderate periodontal disease – If you do not catch gum disease in it’s early stages and it’s allowed to progress, you may begin feeling slight to moderate pain at or around the receding gum line and bone loss may increase, causing the support system around your teeth to weaken. This can lead to tooth loss if not treated, bleeding will continue, and your body may begin responding with an inflammatory response.
- Advanced periodontal disease – If gum disease is allowed to progress to this point, the connective tissue that holds your teeth in place may begin to deteriorate, the support system around your teeth will begin to be destroyed and you will be facing more severe discomfort. This discomfort may occur continuously or only during certain situations such as when you are chewing. Tooth loss at this point is likely and you may develop constant bad breath as well as a bad taste in your mouth. Bleeding will also continue at this stage.
Early signs of periodontitis can go undetected by patients, but with regular visits to Dr. Hatcher and his team, these signs will not go unnoticed and you will be able to catch and control any gum disease before it can progress to more serious stages.
Treatments available for Gum Disease explained by Steven Hatcher
Sometimes if the periodontal bone loss is so advanced then your teeth cannot be saved.
If you haven’t lost too much bone, then you can maintain the teeth with a deep periodontal cleaning, to keep it off the roots this is done every 3-4 months.
If you do deep periodontal cleaning, you can maintain your teeth and gums for a lifetime.
The sooner you can get in to have an evaluation for periodontal disease, then dental implants could help restore your smile and your oral health.
Correcting gum disease and periodontitis
Once gum disease has been detected, the next step is treatment. Depending on the severity of your situation, there are several options available to you that include
- Scaling/root planing – This is the best deep cleaning option available in your battle against periodontitis and gum disease. Plaque and calculus will be cleaned from under the gumline.
- Gum grafting – When gum tissue needs to be replaced in order to protect teeth roots, gum grafting is an available option. Healthy gum tissue is removed from an area of the mouth that is in good shape and this tissue is used to replace gum tissue that has been lost due to gum disease.
- Dental implants – If tooth replacement is necessary, the preferred method is a dental implant. A titanium implant is placed into the jawbone, with a realistic dental crown attached to the implant. It is a minor surgical procedure resulting in a natural looking artificial tooth.
Watch Early Signs of Gum Disease and Dental Solutions – Greensboro
Dr. Steven Hatcher
Dr. Hatcher is a passionate and driven professional who strives to preserve and enhance natural beauty in every dental treatment. He is keen on developing an individualist approach when it comes to treating his patients to ensure patient care is a tailor-made experience for the comfort of each client.
The team at Triad Dentistry is here to treat your gum disease before it becomes a larger problem. Please give Dr. Hatcher and his team at Triad Dentistry a call today at (336) 383-1482 to set up an appointment if you believe you may have gum disease or if you just need an exam and cleaning.