Periodontal disease can have serious consequences, not only for your smile but for your entire body. Therefore, patients should be vigilant about monitoring their gum tissue for signs of this condition. Make sure that you are practicing good oral hygiene at home and visiting your dentist twice a year for a dental exam and cleaning.
If you do develop signs of gum disease, you should consult with a periodontist as soon as possible. Getting effective treatment early in the periodontal disease process typically results in the best outcomes, and early-stage disease can be addressed with more conservative interventions.
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
How do you know if you might have gum disease? Well, first, it’s helpful to know what your baseline should be. Healthy, robust gum tissue has a pink hue and shows no signs of inflammation or recession. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it may suggest the presence of periodontal disease.
- Bleeding (even if it only occurs while brushing and flossing)
- Pockets between the gums and the teeth
Any of these issues warrant follow up with a periodontist.
Pursuing Treatment for Periodontal Disease
Gum disease is a progressive condition. That is, its symptoms and effects become more severe as the disease advances. If left untreated, periodontal disease can ultimately result in consequences as dire as tooth and bone loss.
To limit the effects of periodontal disease, it’s essential for patients to consult with a periodontist as early in the disease process as possible.
The stage of the disease at diagnosis will determine the treatment. Possible interventions include:
- Deep professional cleaning (for gingivitis)
- Root planing and scaling (for periodontitis)
- Gum grafting (in cases of gum recession)
As you can see, the interventions grow more involved and invasive as the disease progresses.
Patients who experience an initial episode of periodontal disease also face a significant risk of a relapse. Therefore, you should adhere to all subsequent treatments and checkups recommended by your provider, in addition to practicing good oral hygiene habits. This is good disease prevention strategy.
Know the signs of gum disease, and call our office as soon as possible to schedule an evaluation if you ever notice them. We can provide effective treatment that will get you back on the path to oral health.