This morning, as you were spitting a mouthful of toothpaste swirled with blood into the sink after brushing, you decided enough is enough. Between your irritated gums and your untamable bad breath, you wonder if there’s anything you can do to help ease your discomfort. After some googling, you realize these symptoms could be a result of the early stages of gum disease, and it could only get worse from here if left untreated. Luckily, periodontal therapy in Buckhead can help you keep a close eye on your mouth and stop gum disease in its tracks. Read on to learn more about the risk factors for periodontal disease and treatment options available to you.
Risk Factors For Gum Disease
Gum disease, sometimes referred to as periodontal disease, is caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar at the gum line. When this happens, your gums become irritated and your soft oral tissue gets infected. While the effects of the advanced stages of gum disease can be permanent, if you catch it in its early stages it’s reversable. A few common risk factors for periodontal disease include:
- Tobacco Use – this is a common risk factor for other oral problems as well, like cancer. Smoking not only weakens your immune system but also makes it harder for your gums to heal and fight off infections. If you consistently smoke or chew tobacco products, you have twice the risk of developing gum disease than somebody who doesn’t.
- Poor Oral Hygiene – by brushing and flossing irregularly, you’re putting your gums at greater risk of becoming infected. Plaque and bacteria will collect at your gum line and cause gum disease if they’re not regularly cleaned from your mouth.
- Genetics – some people are more prone to developing gum disease than others, mainly because the bacteria found in their mouth is inherently stronger.
Changing up or breaking certain habits can be an effective way to avoid experiencing advanced symptoms of gum disease.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Sometimes, symptoms of gum disease won’t appear until you’ve reached the advanced stages, so it’s important to visit your dentist regularly to catch the disease before it can’t be reversed. Here are some symptoms you can look out for at home:
- Tender or swollen gums
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Oral sores
- Pus between your gum and teeth
- Loose teeth
- Receding gums
If left untreated, a small symptom like bad breath could lead to something serious such as tooth loss.
Gum Disease Treatments
Attending your semi-annual checkups and cleanings with your dentist could be the one thing that helps you spot gum disease before it advances. Your dentist in Buckhead may suggest a couple of treatment options, including scaling and root planing, if they diagnose you with gum disease. These can help ease your symptoms, treat the infection, and even reverse it.
If you’re in the beginning stages of gum disease, your dentist may suggest scaling and root planing treatment. This is essentially a thorough cleaning where your dentist or hygienist will remove all plaque, tartar, and bacteria from your gum line. They’ll also wash between the pockets of your gums to disrupt bacteria collection. This procedure involves reshaping the roots of your teeth, so plaque is less likely to collect on them.
The other treatment that your dentist could offer is antibiotic therapy. They will apply an antibiotic directly onto the infected area of your gums to kill all harmful bacteria and start the healing process. Often times, your dentist may suggest doing both scaling and root planing along with antibiotic therapy.
It’s important to tackle the symptoms of gum disease before they progress to avoid serious damage to your mouth. Your dentist can help diagnose and treat your discomfort, so don’t wait to see them until it’s too late!
About the Author
Dr. Peter Pate has been practicing dentistry for over three decades. He understands the need to tackle gum disease symptoms early, which is why he offers both antibiotic therapy as well as scaling and root planing. He has achieved Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry, which is an accomplishment that only about 1% of dental professionals receive. For any questions or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or contact 404-266-9424.