Gum disease is caused when plaque and bacteria build up on your gums. If left untreated, it can lead to gum recession, tooth loss, and even more serious health issues. Although gum disease is common and the leading cause of tooth loss among adults, it’s treatable and also highly preventable. The best way to prevent gum disease is to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily. Additionally, regular dental visits are helpful in catching gum disease early.
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
- Gums that bleed when brushing and/or flossing
- Gums that feel swollen or are tender to the touch
- Persistent bad breath
- Teeth that shift or feel loose
- Jawbone deterioration
Are There Different Types of Gum Disease?
Yes. There are two main forms of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis refers to inflammation of the gums but doesn’t necessarily result in any loss of the bone and tissue surrounding the teeth. It’s usually caused by inadequate brushing and flossing, which allows plaque and bacteria to build up along the gum line.
Periodontitis, on the other hand, is a more advanced form of gum disease. It’s characterized by severe inflammation that results in the breakdown of the bone and tissue supporting the teeth. In advanced cases, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.
Can Gum Disease Be Prevented?
A combination of thorough daily brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups, and a healthy diet can help prevent gum disease. Patients with a family history of gum disease are more likely to develop the condition and should get more frequent checkups and cleanings.
How Do Dentists Diagnose and Treat Gum Disease?
Our dentist can diagnose gum disease during a routine checkup. They may also take X-rays of the teeth and mouth to look for signs of bone loss. If the X-rays reveal bone loss, the Dentist in Baton Rouge, LA will likely refer you to a periodontist. Periodontists specialize in treating gum disease and restoring the health of the gums.
There are several ways to treat gum disease. Mild cases may be treated with a deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing. This non-surgical procedure removes plaque and tartar from beneath the gum line. A topical antibiotic may be applied following scaling and root planing to kill any remaining bacteria.
If a patient has moderate to severe gum disease, they may be a candidate for flap surgery. During this procedure, the gums are lifted and folded back, exposing the root of the tooth. The root is cleaned, smoothed, and treated with antibiotic medication. Tissue is replaced, and the gums are then sutured closed.
To find out more about the dental services we offer at College Family Dentistry, call (225) 926-4640 or schedule a consultation online. You can also visit us at 4616 Concord Avenue, Baton Rouge, LA 70808.