What is a Gum Disease, and How Can You Get Rid of It?
Bleeding gums is usually the first warning sign of gum disease. The infection and inflammation of the gum tissues are known as gingivitis. When left untreated, gingivitis advances to periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease.
Although gum disease is quite common, it’s highly preventable, and you can reverse it if you get treatment on time. Usually, gum disease results from poor oral hygiene. When you don’t floss and brush properly, food particles and other debris can get trapped between your teeth, leading to plaque and tartar build-up.
If left untreated, these deposits release harmful chemicals in the mouth, irritating the gum tissues and causing inflammation—the tooth’s enamel erodes, leading to cavities and decay. Lifestyle habits like smoking can also increase your risk of gum disease and affect the effectiveness of your treatment.
If your gums are infected, the infection can spread further below your gum line and into the bone. Similarly, the infection can enter the bloodstream, increasing your risk of developing complications like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory conditions like pneumonia.
In general, good oral hygiene is the key to preventing gum disease and maintaining healthy teeth, gums, and bones. Regular dental checkups and cleanings can also help detect gum infections early enough and provide the necessary treatment.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
You might have gum disease if you experience the following symptoms:
- Red or purplish gums
- Swollen, tender, or puffy gums
- Unexplained bad breath
- Receding gums
- Sensitive teeth and gums
- Loose or failing teeth
- Pain when chewing
- New spaces between your teeth
- Pus between your gums and teeth
- A change in bite
- Bleeding when brushing or eating
If you have these symptoms, schedule a consultation with your dentist in York Harbor, ME for professional diagnosis and treatment. The sooner you get treatment, the better the chance of reversing the damage. Contact our dentist for periodontal treatment in York Harbor, ME.
Treating Gum Disease
Before treating you, your dentist or periodontist will begin by examining your gums to determine the severity of your condition. Common treatment options include:
- Good oral hygiene
Good oral hygiene is the key to maintaining healthy gums and reversing early gum disease. It involves brushing at least twice daily and flossing daily. It is important to get rid of food particles and plaque, leading to gum disease. Regular dental assessments and cleanings will also help eliminate trapped plaque and tartar that you can’t eliminate with normal brushing.
- Scaling and root planing
Scaling and root planing, also known as deep cleaning, is the first line of reversing gum disease. Deep cleaning is above and under the gum line, unlike normal brushing and flossing. The dentist will use special instruments to scrape off plaque and tartar from the teeth surfaces and gum lines.
The dentist can also perform root planing. It involves smoothening out the rough surfaces of the teeth’s roots. It helps the gum tissue to reattach to the teeth. The procedure can require multiple appointments, depending on how much plaque and tartar has accumulated.
As part of your treatment, your dentist can also prescribe certain medications. It can include antimicrobial mouth rinses like chlorhexidine to control bacteria and reduce gum disease. An antiseptic chip or antibiotic gel can also be placed in the gum pockets after root planing to reduce infection and the size of deep pockets. You can also be given oral antibiotics in tablets or capsules to control bacterial infection.
- Flap Surgery
If non-surgical treatments aren’t effective, your dentist can recommend surgical intervention. Flap surgery involves lifting your gums back and removing calculus in the deep pockets. The gums are then stitched back and heal onto the teeth firmly.
- Gum and bone grafts
If your gum tissues or jawbone have shrunk, your dentist can repair and rebuild them through grafting. New tissues and bones are placed on the affected gums and bones, promoting new growth.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease is preventable. Use these tips to maintain healthy gums and prevent gum disease:
- Brush and floss daily
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Avoid abrasive oral products
- Limit sugary items
- Schedule regular dental assessments and cleanings
- Avoid tobacco products
- Use a mouth guard for contact sports and bruxism
- Eat gum-friendly foods and hydrate well
Schedule an Appointment
Are you looking for gum disease treatment in York Harbor, ME? Contact York Dental Group to book your appointment today.