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What to Do if You Develop Gum Disease

Your mouth Is more delicate than you think, and unfortunately, it isn’t immune to infection. Like the rest of your body, your gums can contract a disease, causing pain, inflammation, and other unpleasant side effects.

Affinity Dental will walk you through the warning signs of gum disease, going over how it occurs in people as well as the best treatment options depending on the severity and other risk factors, including at-home remedies to treat it.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease, or periodontitis, is an infection in the gums that can cause damage to the soft tissue and, if neglected, can destroy the bone that supports your teeth and eventually cause tooth loss.

How it’s caused?

When a buildup of bacterial plaque develops over the surface of the teeth, it begins to put your gums at risk making them more susceptible to periodontal disease. If plaque is not removed, it can harden to form tartar–or calculus, which can then lead to different symptoms that trigger gum infection.

How Painful is It?

The pain level of periodontal disease varies based on how serious the case is. Some may experience mild, uncomfortable stings that are also triggered by hot and cold food, vigorous brushing, poor flossing and the like. But, if left untreated, periodontal inflammation can lead to unbearable pain that will require immediate attention.

What Are the Common Signs and Symptoms?

These are the signs and symptoms to look out for, indicating if it’s time for you to visit a dentist to look into your options on how to treat your gum disease or to check on your oral health and reverse any damage that’s looming.

Read More: How to Spot the Early Signs of Gum Disease
  • Sensitive, bleeding gums caused by recession
  • Chronic bad breath triggered by plaque and bacteria
  • Receding gums triggered by plague breaking down the gum tissue
  • Sensitive teeth caused by the buildup of plaque that eats away at the tooth’s protective enamel layer
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Plaque buildup

What are the Risk Factors?

Poor oral health habits: Neglecting to floss or brush your teeth appropriately and regularly, as well as use mouthwash and stay diligent in your oral checkups, can compromise your oral health and lead to gum disease.

Smoking: One of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of gum disease due to the chemicals and tar buildup of cigarettes and tobacco. Smoking can also lower the chances of successful treatment.

Hormonal changes: Like the rest of the body, hormonal changes may cause gums to be more sensitive, thus lessening their immunity against gingivitis.

Diabetes: Diabetics are at higher risk for developing infections, including gum disease, due to their immunocompromised. Those who are diagnosed and treating diseases such as AIDS/HIV and cancer are also more susceptible, and their medications may make treatments less effective.

Genetic susceptibility: DNA makeup just means that some people may be more prone to severe gum disease than others.

Read More: Maintaining Your Teeth as You Age

The Best Treatments for Gum Disease

Antibiotic Therapy

Antibiotics can help control the bacteria. Topical antibiotics include antibiotic mouth rinses or insertion of gels containing antibiotics in the space between your teeth and gums or into pockets after deep cleaning. For more intense bacterial cases, oral antibiotics may be necessary to completely eliminate infection-causing bacteria.

Root Planing and Scaling Treatment

Root planing is a procedure that smooths the root surfaces, disallowing further buildup of tartar and bacteria. It also removes bacterial byproducts that contribute to inflammation and delay healing or reattachment of the gum to the tooth surfaces.

Scaling removes tartar and bacteria from the tooth surfaces and beneath the gums. It is usually performed using instruments, a laser or an ultrasonic device.

Gingivectomy

Gingivectomy is a sort of cosmetic surgery where the gum tissue is surgically removed. Though extreme, it’s an effective treatment for gingivitis.

Flap Surgery

Tiny incisions are made in the gum so that a section of gum tissue can be lifted back, exposing the roots for more effective scaling and root planing. This allows your dentist to re-contour any bone loss that may have occurred due to the peridontitis.

Bone and Tissue Grafts

Performed as a more intense procedure, bone and tissue grafts are necessary when periodontitis has destroyed the bone surrounding your tooth root. Either your own bone is used, or the bone may be synthetic or donated. The bone graft helps prevent tooth loss by holding your tooth in place and becomes a platform for the regrowth of natural bone.

Tissue-Stimulating Proteins

This technique involves applying a stimulating gel to a diseased tooth root. This gel contains the same proteins found in developing tooth enamel and stimulates the growth of healthy bone and tissue.

Guided Tissue Regeneration

This allows the regrowth of bone that was destroyed by bacteria. Your dentist places a piece of special fabric between the existing bone and your tooth. The material prevents unwanted tissue from entering the healing area, allowing bone to grow back instead.

Home Treatment Options & Lifestyle Changes

If you have increasing gum disease, visit your dentist to take the necessary actions and maintain your general and oral health with these positive lifestyle habits.

  • Brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day
  • Use a soft toothbrush and replace it at least every three months. Consider an electric toothbrush, which may be more effective at removing plaque and tartar.
  • Floss daily. Floss removes plaque and tartar – this is important.
  • Use a mouth rinse to help reduce plaque between your teeth, if recommended by your dentist.
  • Show up for cleanings regularly, on a schedule recommended by your dentist.
  • Don’t smoke or chew tobacco.
Read More: The Importance of Regular Teeth Cleanings

Tips to Prep You for Your Dentist Appointment

To get ready for your appointment, make a list of any symptoms you’re experiencing, any key personal information on your medical history and any medications you take. Be sure to ask your dentist all the important questions regarding your symptoms and their causes, and what the best course of action would be moving forward.

Read More: Top Dental Mistakes to Avoid for Healthy Teeth

You may need to be referred to a periodontist depending on the severity of your gum disease.

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