Gum disease is one of the most common dental disorders to affect American adults. In fact, the CDC estimates that nearly half of US adults over the age of 30 have some degree of gum disease but may not even know it. Our Hacienda Heights, CA, dentists Drs. Ron & Justin Nichols wants you to know what to look out for so you know when it’s time to come into our office.
What are the warning signs and symptoms of gum disease?
While gum disease doesn’t always cause symptoms until it’s become more advanced it is important that the minute you notice symptoms of gum disease that you schedule an appointment with our Hacienda Heights, CA, general dentist right away. We will be able to examine your gums and determine how advanced it is and how to most effectively treat it.
Common signs and symptoms of gum disease include:
- Bleeding gums when brushing and flossing
- Puffy, inflamed gums
- Gums that are tender to the touch
- Receding gums, which make teeth appear taller than usual
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together
- Persistent bad breath
What are the stages of gum disease?
Poor hygiene is one major factor that can lead to gum disease. The two main stages of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontists. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease that results in gum inflammation due to tartar buildup along the gum line and the teeth.
Gingivitis can be reversed if detected early enough, which is why everyone should visit their dentist twice a year for routine checkups even if their teeth and gums seem healthy. If gingivitis is left untreated it will progress into periodontitis, or full-blown gum disease. This causes the gums to pull away from the teeth and develop pockets of infection. Over time, this can lead to loose teeth and tooth loss.
How is gum disease treated?
How our dentist decides to treat your gum disease will depend on the severity of your condition. Gingivitis can easily be treated with a professional dental cleaning and by making sure that the patient is properly caring for their teeth. This means flossing every day and brushing daily. Sometimes your dentist may even prescribe a special rinse to help kill the bacteria responsible for gum disease.
Those with periodontitis will often need to undergo a treatment known as scaling and root planing, in which your dentist will go under the gums and remove plaque and tartar buildup from the gum line, under the gums and even the roots of the teeth. Sometimes small antibiotic fibers are temporarily placed within the gums to treat the infection.
If you are concerned about your gum health or if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above don’t hesitate to call our Hacienda Heights, CA, dental practice today to schedule an immediate appointment.