While there certainly can be noticeable symptoms, gum disease should only be diagnosed by a trained professional. A periodontist works in a specialized field of dentistry which concentrates heavily on preventing, diagnosing and treating gum disease. It is a growing field because gum disease is rampant in today’s society. People used to think that gum disease and tooth loss were a normal part of aging but we now know what a serious disease it is.
Signs of Gum Disease
The most noticeable sign of gum disease is irritated or swollen gums which bleed when they are brushed. This is also usually the earliest sign of the disease. As it progresses, it can bring on symptoms such as persistent bad breath, sores in the mouth and loose or separating teeth. As gum disease progresses, it damages the roots of teeth along with the jaw bone that holds them in place. This is why advanced gum disease comes along with tooth loss.
Causes of Gum Disease
The most common cause of gum disease is poor dental hygiene. Plaque settles on teeth and gums allowing bacteria to attack healthy gum tissues. When it is not removed through proper dental care, it irritates the gums and develops into gingivitis which is the earliest stage of gum disease. Smoking, drug use and certain medications can also make gum tissues more susceptible to attack.
Treating Gum Disease
Treating gum disease is the only way to stop it and hopefully prevent tooth loss. Treatment must be rendered by a trained periodontist who will develop a plan of care based on the stage of the disease. Gingivitis can often be reversed through proper care. More advanced cases may require deep dental cleanings such as scaling and root planing to prevent a more chronic condition.
If you have been told you have gum disease, or if your gums bleed when you brush, call our office today. Early intervention is the best treatment option for gum disease. Our compassionate staff will help develop a care plan to help you achieve a healthy smile.