Contact Meadowdale Dental Clinic Today (425) 742-9609
Curing Gum Disease
Gum disease is a condition that affects over 50% of adults according the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, most of these adults do not even know that they are suffering from periodontal disease because they either do not know what the conditions are or the conditions are so mild that they do not notice. In all cases, gum disease is progressive and will eventually lead to significant oral issues.
The first step in curing periodontal disease is awareness. It is important to understand gum disease and its signs and symptoms so that you can identify it early when it is treatable and reversible. Periodontal disease is always caused by inflammation in the gum tissue because of plaque and tartar build up. It always starts out as gingivitis and is easily treatable. The signs and symptoms of gingivitis include swollen or irritated gums, frequent untreatable bad breath, or bleeding while flossing or brushing. The symptoms usually start out very mild and progress over time. If left untreated, gingivitis will turn into periodontitis. Periodontitis can cause significant structural changes to your mouth as the infection sets in and begins to destroy the gum and bone tissues surrounding your teeth. This will eventually lead to tooth loss.
Treated if Caught Early
In almost all cases, gingivitis can easily be treated if caught early enough. The best treatment is preventative. If you notice that you have any bleeding or inflammation in your gums, you should see your dentist immediately. They can prescribe a course of treatment and give your teeth a good cleaning. This typically will address the issue by removing the plaque and tartar that is causing the bacteria.
If the gingivitis has progressed to a point where simple cleaning will not work, your dentist will more than likely perform a special, deep clean on your teeth. This is called scaling and root planing. This cleaning targets the hard to get plaque at the gum line. Your dentist may also prescribe an anti-microbial mouthwash in order to try and eliminate the bacteria. In many cases, this deep cleaning combined with better oral hygiene will address the issue effectively.
If your periodontal disease has progressed to periodontitis, your dentist will probably recommend that you see a periodontist who specializes in periodontal diseases and treatment. At this point, you may have to have a surgical cleaning. In this case, the periodontist will perform an even deeper cleaning, which will reach places that cannot be cleaned normally. The hope is that this will eliminate enough of the tartar and plaque in order to allow the tissues to heal. In some cases you may also need dental appliances such as stints and bite guards in order to support any teeth that are loose while the healing process takes place. Similarly, if your gum disease has progressed too far, you may need a soft tissue graft in order to support the existing tissues and bones while your mouth is healing.
Ultimately, the most effective treatment is preventative. If caught early enough, gingivitis is almost always curable.
More on Gum Disease : What are Symptoms of Gum Disease?