One of the most common causes of loss of teeth in adults is periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is commonly known as gum disease. It is an infection of your gums, the soft tissue that surrounds your teeth. Most of the time people don’t feel pain from gum disease. This is because it is caused by the slow build up of plaque. Plaque is a sticky film containing many bacteria that builds up on teeth. Since there is no pain, most people who have gum disease don’t even know it. That is why seeing a dentist about gum disease in Beverly Hills will help you know and understand the warning signs and preventing gum disease are the only way to protect your mouth.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
- Swollen, red or tender gums
- Bleeding gums
- Pus between teeth and gums
- Receding gums
- Bad breath
- Mouth sores
- Changes in your bite
- Changes in how dentures fit
Although these are the symptoms of gum disease, it is important to remember that some people do not experience any symptoms at all before permanent damage is done. This is why it is so crucial to have regular dental care. Your dentist can tell you if you are developing gum disease before you feel it and hopefully prevent any damage to your teeth and mouth.
Stages & Types of Gum Disease
Like many diseases, gum disease progresses through stages. Over time the stages become worse. Here is a look at each stage of gum disease.
The earliest form of gum disease is known as Gingivitis. In this early stage, you may experience mildly aggravating symptoms like swollen or bleeding gums. It is important to see your dentist immediately if you notice symptoms of Gingivitis.
If it is caught in the early stages a proper deep cleaning by a professional may cure the problem immediately. If it is not taken care of, it will progress and become periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a chronic condition where the gums stay inflamed. This inflammation damages the teeth and gums and can eventually lead to a breakdown of the tissue and bones that support the teeth, culminating in tooth loss.
This is normally a slow progressing disease, however, there is aggressive periodontitis which advances much quicker and can do a lot of long lasting damage fast.
Treatments for Periodontitis
This disease is treated by a periodontist, which is a dentist with a special education to treat periodontitis. This kind of professional can perform a Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation which examines your mouth, teeth and gums to diagnose the disease as well as define exactly what stage that you are in.
A periodontist can also prescribe treatment for all stages of gum disease. Common treatments for this ailment include:
- Enhanced daily care routine: recommend and prescribe products that can be used at home daily. This may include a topical treatment or oral antibiotics.
- Scaling: the manual removal of plaque and bacteria build up from the teeth and gums
- Root planing: a method of soothing and strengthening the roots of teeth.
- Flap surgery: reduces the pockets between teeth and allows for more direct more effective root planing and scaling
- Soft tissue & Bone grafts: moving tissue to create a catalyst for the regrowth of natural material
- Guided tissue regeneration & Tissue-stimulating proteins: enhance the body’s natural ability to regrow healthy bone and tissue
A highly skilled periodontist will even be able to place dental implants if teeth are lost.
Risk Factors & Preventing Periodontitis
Common risk factors include:
- Tobacco use
- Poor oral hygiene
- Use of certain medications
The best way to prevent gum disease is with good routine oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. Since gum disease silently does so much damage, you will want to visit your dentist regularly to make sure if you do develop gum disease that it is caught early.