|Gum Disease Treatment Houston
While patients may notice some of the symptoms of periodontal disease, the only way to determine if a patient has it or not is by a professional examination.
Our dental professional at Frank Dunlap, DDS will assess gum recession, jawbone mass, and look for visible signs of bleeding or discharge near the gumline.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a progressive disease caused by the bacteria which is found in the mouth.
Although it resides there and helps to protect teeth by breaking down food particles which can be left behind following meals, if left unchecked, it can grow to high enough levels where it begins to attack the teeth and gums.
Brushing and flossing keep these bacteria in check but when patients fail to keep up with their oral hygiene practices, this can eventually cause complications resulting in advanced tooth decay and even tooth loss.
If not addressed, gum disease can progress to advanced stages where it is incurable and can lead to other medical health problems.
For those patients who are concerned they may have periodontal disease, please call us today at (346) 576-4411 so we can perform a complete and thorough examination.
How Do You Know if You Have Gum Disease?
Sensitive Gums and Teeth
One of the earliest consequences of periodontal disease is gums that are easily irritated and inflamed. They may look puffy and red or purple, and will be sensitive to the touch. Sometimes this will increase the sensitivity of your teeth as well.
As your gums get more sensitive, they will also become more prone to bleeding. Healthy gums should not bleed, so if you notice blood when you spit after brushing this could be a sign of periodontal disease. Gum disease can be a risk on its own too — when your gums are opened up like this you are also exposing your bloodstream to harmful bacteria.
The more unhealthy your gums get, the worse they will tend to look. As the disease spreads, you may notice your teeth looking longer as your gums recede. Receding gums create pockets between the gums and your teeth. The bacteria that cause periodontal disease hide in these pockets, accelerating the spread of the disease.
Chronic Bad Breath
Unfortunately, one of the consequences of untreated periodontal disease is stubborn bad breath. When bad breath is caused by gum disease it does not go away with a little bit of mouthwash or a mint. The bacteria that cause this unpleasant odor can infest extremely hard-to-reach places, so even if you brush your teeth they will remain and the bad breath will eventually come back.
What Causes Gum Disease?
The bacteria in the oral cavity needs to be removed on a regular basis by brushing and flossing. When this is not done, it can build-up to the point of becoming tartar which is a sticky, gummy-like substance.
This material can still be removed by brushing and flossing but if it is not removed in time, it will become plaque which has to be removed by a professional cleaning.
When plaque is not removed, it can start the earliest stages of periodontal disease which is known as gingivitis.
The initial stage of gum disease, gingivitis is the only point in which the disease can be cured. Indicators of gingivitis include bleeding gums and oral cavity pain.
Some of the contributing factors to periodontal disease which can increase the likelihood of contracting it include hormone level changes whether by puberty, menopause, or even pregnancy.
Any patient who abuses alcohol, smokes, or uses smokeless tobacco also runs a higher risk of contracting it.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
A patient who brushes and flosses twice a day, as well as comes in for exams and cleanings has much less chance of getting periodontal disease than a patient who does not.
Gum disease can also affect the rest of the body. Infections from the mouth can easily travel through the bloodstream and cause problems in other areas.
How to Treat Gum Disease
The word “incurable” tends to stick with patients and unfortunately, that word rings true for the latter stages of periodontal disease. Nothing can cure it.
Patients can only manage their symptoms through periodontal maintenance. This will only slow the progression but not reverse the disease.
Different dental surgeries may be relied upon to help replace the loss of bone structure and receding gum tissue. A commitment for the life of the patient, they will need to come in for deeply involved cleanings at least every three months.
What Does Gum Disease Look Like?
Progressive and detrimental to not only oral health but overall general health as well, gum disease can be a contributing cause of tooth decay, bone mass loss, and tooth loss and lead to a wide array of other health issues.
It has long been accepted that oral health is directly linked with the overall health of the body.
There are three different stages of periodontal disease. The first stage is known as gingivitis and is the only stage in which the disease can be reversed.
Once it progresses beyond the first stage the disease is not curable and can only be treated. The only thing that can be done is to manage the symptoms and stop the progression.
For those patients who notice they have discolored discharge along the gums or have bleeding, it is important for them to know these could be signs they have periodontal disease.
It is vital they see someone in our office to determine the best treatment regimen for their condition.
Protect Your Oral Health!
The consequences of periodontal disease may sound dire, but they do not have to be. With our fast-acting and affordable treatments, even the toughest bacteria can be purged.
To find out more about how we can help protect your mouth from periodontal disease, call Frank Dunlap, DDS at (346) 576-4411 today!