Periodontal Disease ~ Treatment and Prevention Education
Periodontal disease affects many adults across the country, producing symptoms ranging from simple inflammation of the gums to serious damage to the supporting bone and soft tissue. The danger is that the damage can ultimately lead to tooth loss, so it is important for people to get treatment, even if they are experiencing only mild symptoms.
How to prevent gum disease
Of course, a big part of stopping, slowing or preventing periodontal disease is practicing good dental hygiene. Taking care of teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing and dental visits will go a long way toward protecting you, and if you already have the disease, good hygiene will help keep it from progressing to an irreversible stage, periodontitis .
The longer you allow bacteria to remain on your teeth, the more damage they can do. Inflammation of the gums, called gingivitis, is the first symptom that people typically notice. Gingivitis causes gums to become red and swollen and bleed easily. This is actually a mild form of the disease, and it can often be reversed by simply improving your dental habits and caring for your teeth and gums better.
If left alone, Gingivitis will become Periodontitis
If it is not treated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis, which is an inflammation around the whole tooth. At this point, gums withdraw from teeth and form pockets that can get infected. The body tries to fight these pockets of infection, as the bacteria spread under the gum line. Bone tissue can start to break down, loosening teeth, and eventually loose teeth will have to be removed.
Watch for signs and symptoms of gum disease
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you might have periodontal disease: red and swollen gums, bad breath that doesn't go away, bleeding of the gums, painful chewing, sensitive or loose teeth, receding gums.
Treatment at our office will vary depending on the severity of your condition. Typically, it will involve removing plaque and tartar using a method called root planning or scaling. Planing gets rid of the spots on the tooth root where bacteria collect. Medications are used to treat an infection, and deep cleaning methods are used to treat more severe cases.
Of course, after treatment, we will offer advice to patients for good daily dental care at home. This is essential to prevent the disease from progressing. Eliminate pain and discomfort and preserve natural teeth as long as possible by following a good at-home hygiene routine and visiting your dentist twice a year. If you live in or around Virginia Beach, call Wernick Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment or visit the appointment page on the website.