Oral health is incredibly important, but whether you have cavities or not isn’t the only thing you should be paying attention to. The fact is gum disease is one of the most common chronic conditions in the United States and even around the world. It’s also the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, so if you care about maintaining a healthy smile, your gums deserve plenty of attention. With that said, many people aren’t sure what the symptoms of gum disease look like. However, visiting a periodontist in Frisco can help you stay informed on the most common signs so you know when it’s time for treatment.
What are the Most Common Symptoms?
The only way to know for sure that you have gum disease is to have a detailed exam performed. However, there are plenty of symptoms you can keep in mind beforehand. They include:
- Bleeding, tenderness and redness – When the gums are inflamed, they can begin to bleed. This can occur while you’re brushing, eating, or even doing nothing at all!
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away – When bad breath remains, even after you’ve brushed and flossed, it could be due to the deep pockets that have formed in between your teeth. These pockets can hold large amounts of plaque, which contain odor-causing bacteria. Keep in mind that they should only be between 1 and 3 mm deep. If they become any deeper, it’s typically because gum disease is present.
- Oral abscess – When an abscess, or a confined pocket of pus in tissue, is visible on your gums, it’s likely than an oral infection is present. These large bumps are usually quite sensitive, tender and painful to the touch.
- Loosened teeth – Do your teeth feel like they are moving out of place when you chew? This is more common in the advanced stages of gum disease and should be examined by a doctor right away.
How Can You Keep Your Gums Healthy?
While dentists can help you manage gum disease, periodontists can manage the most serious forms of the condition and even provide treatments that dentists may not be qualified to perform. However, the most basic forms of treatment include:
- Scaling and Root Planing – This deep cleaning procedure is intended to remove the mouth of all tartar and bacteria, especially underneath the gum line. It also works to smooth out the tooth roots, which is necessary for helping them re-attach to teeth and preventing bacteria from clinging to them.
- Periodontal Maintenance – Scaling and root planing need to be performed once every three to four months as the gums require time to heal in between treatments.
- At-Home Oral Hygiene – The periodontist you see will go over proper at-home oral hygiene. This includes brushing twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste and flossing daily.
When you know the signs of gum disease and the next steps for treatment, you’re already on the right path towards protecting your gum tissue moving forward. If you’re experiencing symptoms of gum disease, don’t wait to get treatment; call a periodontist today!
About the Author
Dr. Zachary Carnow is an expert in periodontics and offers multiple treatments at his practice specifically designed to protect, save and restore damaged gum tissue. He has treated a variety of periodontal conditions and taught many patients on how to improve their oral health moving forward. To learn more or schedule an appointment, you can contact him through his website.