It’s not uncommon for people to automatically think of teeth, smiles, and cavities when they hear the word “dentist”; however, your teeth are only a part of the importance of a dental visit. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, affects almost half of American adults. While the diagnosis might sound scary, understanding the specifics behind periodontal disease can help you make sense of everything gum disease entails.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum or bone disease, is characterized by inflammation of the gumline that can potentially worsen and spread to the bone surrounding and supporting your teeth. In severe cases, periodontal disease can lead to loss of teeth, gum, or bone tissue, and presents itself in three stages (from least severe to most): gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. More often than not, gum disease doesn’t cause any pain, so those affected might not even know they have it.
What Are Symptoms of Gum Disease?
While pain might not be a symptom in all cases of periodontal disease, there are other signs you can watch for to catch gum disease early.
- Persistent bad breath
- Sudden loose teeth
- Pain while chewing
- Gums receding or moving away from the tooth
- Red or swollen gums
- Sensitive teeth
- Abnormal bleeding from gums during brushing or flossing
- Tenderness in gums
What Causes Gum Disease?
Like many dental problems, a buildup of bacteria and plaque causes gum disease. Luckily, an easy way to protect against and prevent periodontal disease is by sticking to a disciplined oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing twice a day takes no time at all and will work wonders for keeping your mouth healthy in the long run.
How Do You Treat Periodontal Disease?
Your dentist’s #1 goal will be managing the infection, so the level of severity will dictate your course of treatment. A common treatment called scaling and rooting involves scraping away any tarter around the gum line and removing any rough spots on the tooth prone to bacteria build up. No matter which treatment your dentist chooses, at-home dental care is incredibly important to ensuring the infection doesn’t return.
Visit Cornerstone Family Dentistry for a Comprehensive Oral Exam
Whether or not you notice anything abnormal in your mouth, it’s important to see a dentist regularly. Some serious oral health issues, like periodontal disease, are hard to spot at home but can become very costly and serious if left untreated. At Cornerstone Family Dentistry, our bilingual dentistry staff is passionate about helping the Nashville community gain healthier, happier smiles. Contact us today about scheduling an appointment or download our new patient paperwork.