Gum Disease: Signs, Treatment and Prevention

Gum Disease: Signs, Treatment and Prevention

Gum disease is a common condition seen by our Newport Beach dentist. Also known as periodontal disease, or periodontitis, this issue has various different stages.  It starts out mild in the stage called gingivitis and can advance to a full-blown gum and tooth infection. Advanced gum disease causes irreversible damage to your mouth.

The infection from periodontitis can also get into your bloodstream and affect your heart health.

Signs of Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)

The following are signs of gum disease starting with mild symptoms to the most severe:

  • Gums are red, swollen, and feel sore
  • Gums bleed when you brush or floss
  • You have bad breath
  • You have a lot of tartar buildup on your teeth
  • Your gums are starting to recede
  • You have bone loss
  • Teeth have shifted over time, causing large gaps, and/or your teeth protrude out of your mouth at an angle
  • You have loose teeth
  • All of your teeth are sore and painful
  • When you touch your gums, pus comes out
  • Your teeth are falling out on their own

gum disease differences

Gum Disease Treatment Options

The severity of your condition will determine how to cure gum disease in your mouth. Our Newport Beach dentist perform do a thorough evaluation to determine if you need one of the following:

Debridement: A debridement is done when you have gingivitis but heavy tartar buildup.  This treatment is more thorough than a typical tooth cleaning, but necessary for proper examination of your teeth.

Scaling and Root Planing (Deep Cleanings): When the buildup around your teeth starts to pack underneath the gum tissue, the only way how to treat gum disease is with a procedure called scaling and root planing.

During this treatment, our hygienist will use special instruments to break up the hard calculus buildup and flush it away. Depending on how severe your gum disease is, you may need to have this procedure broken up into multiple appointments.

Gum Surgery: If scaling and root planing isn’t effective enough at removing all of the buildup below your gums then you may need to see a gum specialist, known as a periodontist, to determine how to cure gum disease in your mouth.

Typically, you’ll have to undergo surgery where the surgeon will retract your gum tissue and flap it over to expose the buildup and remove it. Once completed, your gums will be put back in place.

Extractions: If you’ve experienced so much bone loss that your teeth are loose and falling out, then none of the above treatments will be successful. Since bone doesn’t grow back, you’ll have to get your remaining teeth pulled and decide on a tooth replacement option before other teeth start to become involved.

How To Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease can be prevented, you just have to be committed to good oral health.  Here are some tips on how to keep your gums healthy.

Brush At Least Twice A Day

Though it’s best to brush after every meal, you should at a minimum do it twice a day. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, tilt it to a 45-degree angle so that the bristles can get under the gum tissue. If you see bleeding, that means that you have an infection in your gums. Brushing will stimulate your gums to heal, so don’t shy away from brushing your gums if you see blood.

Floss Daily

Though a toothbrush, when used correctly, if very effective at cleaning your teeth, there’s just no way for it to remove all of the plaque from between them.  That’s why you should be flossing daily. Traditional flossing string works great and it’s inexpensive. If you prefer you can use floss picks, or even a water flosser.

Get Regular Dental Cleanings

Visiting the dentist every six months for a professional cleaning will allow our hygienists to remove the plaque and tartar buildup from those hard to reach areas.

Quit Smoking

If you’re a smoker, now is the time to kick the habit to the curb. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), tobacco use weakens your immune system making you twice as likely to develop gum disease. In addition, once a smoker develops periodontal disease, it’s harder for their gums to heal. The more you smoke, and the longer you’ve been doing it, the greater your risk is of getting periodontal disease.

Getting Professional Help

If you have any of the above symptoms, then you should get gum disease treated right away.  Periodontitis does not get better on its own and can’t be treated at home. Avoiding the dentist will only make it worse.

If it’s been a while since you’ve had a cleaning, it’s likely that you have some sort of gum disease. To get treated right away, visit the office of Dr. Yazdan, our Newport Beach dentist. We’ll evaluate your condition and construct a plan on how to cure gum disease in your mouth. We’ll get you back on the road to recovery and enjoying your smile. Call today!

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