Periodontal (gum) disease is a progressive condition which can be successfully managed or even reversed.
The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, is characterized by red, swollen, & bleeding gums. It develops when dental plaque builds up on teeth. Gingivitis is usually reversible. It’s important to identify & treat it before progression.
Untreated gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, an advanced stage of gum disease. The gums separate from teeth forming spaces called periodontal pockets. Bacteria are trapped in these pockets, increasing inflammation. Periodontitis is characterized by bleeding, swelling, receding gums, & cause bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth. It can result in damage to soft tissue & bone supporting teeth, potentially leading to tooth loss. Treating gum disease requires a deep-cleaning procedure called scaling & root planing. Scaling removes plaque & tartar accumulated on tooth surfaces & below the gums. Root planing smoothes out root surfaces, preventing further buildup of plaque & tartar, promoting healing & reattachment of gums to teeth.
Scaling & root planing usually treat & reverse gingivitis, restoring gum health. If gum disease is advanced, additional treatments, including antibiotics or surgery may be needed. The frequency of routine exams & cleanings depends on gum health. People with healthy gums typically require cleanings twice a year, while people with periodontal disease will need 3-4 dental visits a year. During your appointment, we will carefully clean your teeth, examine your gum tissue, & measure your pocket depth & gum recession. Our goal is to manage the condition & to maintain gum & bone health. Prevention is the best way to avoid dealing with gum disease. Make sure to brush & floss your teeth daily. Keeping up with routine professional exams & cleanings will help keep gums clean & healthy.
Contact May Conte D.D.S. Cosmetic, Implant, & Family Dentistry to learn more about managing gum disease & maintaining a healthy smile. Call today!
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