Tooth loss is becoming increasingly common among American dental patients. Often the cause of tooth loss is gum disease. Known in its advanced stages as periodontitis, gum disease can quickly become a painful and devastating dental condition leading to the loss of one or several teeth. If you begin to notice the signs of gum disease it is important to seek dental treatment sooner rather than later. When caught early, gum disease can be eliminated and even reversed.
What are the signs of gum disease?
Gum disease in its early stages is also known as gingivitis. It typically begins to appear with mild symptoms such as swollen gums, redness, sensitivity and gums that bleed during brushing for flossing. More advanced signs of gum disease include:
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Pus along the gum line
- Chronic bad breath
- Separation of the gums from tooth roots
What causes gum disease?
Typically, gum disease is caused by poor dental habits at home. No matter what has caused your gum disease it is important to identify the source and treat your condition as soon as possible. When left untreated gum disease can spread, leading to expensive and sometimes painful treatments such as scaling and root planing. Additionally, periodontitis has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, pre-term birth and other health issues.
How can I prevent gum disease?
The most effective treatment against periodontitis is to avoid the diagnosis in the first place. This is best done by diligently caring for your teeth and gums at home. These steps include brushing and flossing after every meal, giving up behaviors such as tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption, and making sure to visit your dentist for a check-up every six months.
Scaling and Root Planing
The dentists at O’Brien Dental are well trained in effectively treating gum disease. Depending on the level of disease present, there are many different treatments that may be used. Common treatments for the advanced stages of gum disease include tooth scaling and root planing.
Each of these techniques is used to clean the space between the teeth and gums, all the way down to the root. Tooth scaling works to remove built up plaque and tartar from below the gum line. Root planing smooths the surface of your tooth roots.
Scaling and planing are effective treatments for stopping the progression of advanced gum disease. Following either of these treatments your gums should become stronger and be free of disease. A brief regimen of antibiotics will help guarantee the elimination of your gum disease, and proper at home dental care will help prevent it from recurring.
Contact O’Brien Dental today to learn more about tooth scaling, root planing and other periodontal treatment options.