March 1, 2017
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common, but mostly preventable, condition. The symptoms of gum disease are red, swollen and tender gums. It’s also a risk factor for heart and lung disease.
At Davenport Dental Group, in Laredo, TX, we are dedicated to helping you maintain your healthy smile by fighting against gum disease. If you are noticing signs of gum disease, don’t wait. Get in touch with us at 956-242-6745 at our Junction Drive location.
Types Of Gum Disease
Gum disease is caused by a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. Sometimes this buildup is due to poor dental hygiene. It can also be genetic or caused by conditions such as teeth misalignment and diabetes, as well as taking certain medications.
Gum disease is not something you want to leave untreated because it can lead to a host of other problems like jawbone deterioration and tooth loss. Fixing those kinds of issues will be more time-consuming and expensive.
Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. It’s characterized by gums that are red, swollen and bleed easily. But there’s also a chance that your gums may not be painful at this stage. It’s important that you seek care for them the earliest you can. Gingivitis is reversible.
When you leave gingivitis untreated, it can develop into periodontitis, a condition with much more serious consequences. Over time, plaque can spread and grow below your gumline. There are bacteria in plaque that produce toxins that irritate the gums.
Essentially, the body will then turn against itself by producing an inflammatory response. The gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets. As the disease progresses, those pockets become infected and deepen. The gum tissue and the underlying bone are eventually broken down and destroyed.
In the end, teeth become loose and may have to be removed.
What To Look For
Here are some symptoms and signs of gum disease to look for:
- Red gums
- Swollen gums
- Tender gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Shifting teeth
If you notice any of these symptoms, please contact the team at Davenport Dental Group as soon as possible to seek treatment.
Preventing Gum Disease
As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That means it’s easier (and less expensive) to do what you have to do to keep gum disease from happening in the first place than it is to treat it after it’s happened.
To prevent gum disease, here are some steps to follow:
- Brush your teeth and floss as directed.
- Maintain a healthy diet. If you drink or eat too many starchy or sugary foods, you’re feeding the bacteria that can cause plaque on your teeth. Stick with fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.
- Maintain regular dental appointments (every six months).
Gum Disease Treatment
It’s best to seek help for gum disease as soon as you notice there is a problem. By doing this, you can help us work to prevent bone deterioration and tooth loss from happening to you.
We can do two different things to treat gum disease:
Routine Cleaning – A routine cleaning might be all that’s needed if you’re in the early stages of gum disease. In that case, we can rid your mouth and teeth of disease-causing bacteria and return it to a state of cleanliness and health. You should schedule and keep regular visits to your dentist in order to catch the gum disease in its earliest stages.
Deep Cleaning – If the gum disease is more advanced, we recommend deep cleaning procedures known as scaling and root planing. These are designed to remove the bacteria and buildup from underneath your gums, the parts of your mouth that we can’t reach in a routine cleaning.
The procedure itself is simple and painless and is typically effective for mild or moderate cases of gum disease.
If you are suffering from severe gum disease, we may refer you to periodontist. A periodontist is a surgical specialist who will be able to get the advanced care you need.
Make An Appointment
Don’t wait until the problem is too advanced. Schedule an appointment by calling our Junction Drive location at 956-242-6745 or our Winfield location at 956-517-2695. You can also use our online contact form. Let us help you eliminate that infection and give you back your healthy smile.