Gum disease is a progressive condition that, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems. With early detection and proper treatment, gum disease can be controlled and its progression halted. This helps to preserve your natural teeth and maintain good oral health.
At our Cromwell, CT office, our team takes a proactive approach to fighting gum disease—one that involves prevention, early detection, and innovative means of treatment. Through these efforts, we can protect your smile and ensure its health for the future.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a serious infection of the gums that can lead to tooth loss. It is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. Plaque is constantly forming on your teeth, and if it is not removed, it can harden into tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist.
If plaque and tartar are not removed, they will begin to destroy the gums and the bone that support your teeth. Gum disease is usually painless in its early stages, so you may not know you have it. That’s why it’s important to see a dentist or dental hygienist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
Stages & Symptoms
- Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and can often be reversed with good oral hygiene. This stage is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. If gingivitis is not treated, it can progress to periodontitis.
- Periodontitis is a more serious form of gum disease that can damage the gums and bones that support the teeth. Periodontitis is indicated by deeper pockets between the teeth and gums, as well as by gum recession. Other symptoms of periodontitis may include persistent bad breath and loose or shifting teeth.
- Advanced periodontitis is the most severe stage of gum disease. The gums and bone supporting the teeth are severely damaged at this stage, and teeth may be lost. Symptoms include deep pockets, gum recession, severe bone loss, and eventually lost teeth.
Treatments for Gum Disease
There are a number of different treatments available for gum disease, depending on the severity of the condition. Some common treatments include scaling and root planing—which involves removing tartar and bacteria from the teeth and gums, oral antibiotics—which can help to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation, and surgery—which may be necessary in severe cases.
Gum Disease Prevention
While we do offer effective methods of gum disease treatment, the best act you can take against the condition is to prevent it in the first place.
Poor dental hygiene is one of the main causes of gum disease. If you don’t take care of your teeth and gums, plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth. You can help to prevent gum disease by brushing and flossing regularly, as well as visiting our office regularly for routine cleanings. It’s also important to eat a healthy diet and eliminate poor habits (such as smoking and drinking), as both of these can contribute to gum disease.
Let’s Fight Gum Disease Together
At our office, we care about your smile and your oral health. That’s why we work hard to protect your smile against gum disease. If you suspect you may have gum disease, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help you fight this serious condition and restore your healthy smile.