Periodontics is a type of specialization dentistry that focuses entirely on treatment of the gums. If you have gum disease or gingivitis, it can lead to serious long-term problems with your teeth, up to and including extensive tooth loss.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease can be a difficult problem to diagnose, because in its early stages, it produces few if any readily visible symptoms. In many cases, it takes a visit with your dentist to diagnose problems before they start to become serious. However, there are some symptoms you should look out for. If you experience any of these problems, you should bring them to the attention of your dentist as soon as possible:
- Gums that bleed when you brush
- Obvious inflammation in the gum tissue
- Gums that have a shiny appearance, or that look red or purple.
During your routine dental visits, your dentist will examine your gums to look for any obvious symptoms of developing gum disease. Early stages, which involve simple inflammation, are easily treated. As gum disease progresses, however, treatment becomes more difficult and more invasive, and can involve deep cleaning procedures or even gum surgery.
Long-term Effects of Untreated Gum Disease
If gum disease is left untreated, it can lead to a variety of long-term problems, not all of which affect just your teeth. As infection becomes more serious, the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, leaving them without a strong support structure. Severe gum disease can also spread into the jawbone, damaging the tooth socket so the tooth becomes loose and eventually falls out.
In addition to tooth loss, the presence of oral bacteria in the bloodstream appears to be related to the development of inflammation in the cardiovascular system and may even be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. If you have any symptoms of gum disease, it’s important to talk to your dentist and have your condition diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
Contact the office of Dr. Brad Crump to see how we can help!