Gum Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease develops when bacteria causes an infection in the gums and supporting tissues around the tooth roots. Left untreated, periodontal disease can cause irreversible damage, even resulting in tooth loss. Depending on the severity of your condition, Dr. Paul Archacki can address gum disease with non-surgical treatments, such as scaling and root planing. However, in advanced cases, he may recommend gum surgery. We invite you to learn more about gum disease and its symptoms, as well as the treatments available at our Boynton Beach, FL, dental practice.
Understanding Periodontal Disease
When bacteria in dental plaque remains on the teeth, it can build up along the gums. When the bacteria spreads underneath the gums, it can create pockets between your dental roots and the surrounding soft tissues. These pockets are the main sign of periodontal disease. In advanced stages, infection can spread to the tooth roots as well as the supporting bone tissue, at which point, tooth loss becomes substantially more likely. The most common form of gum disease is gingivitis. When gingivitis is not addressed, it can progress to more advanced stages collectively known as periodontitis.
While the majority of gum disease is caused by inadequate oral hygiene, there are certain factors that can increase your risk, such as:
- Chronic tobacco use
- Genetic factors that increase susceptibility
- Pregnancy and other hormonal changes, such as those associated with puberty
- Certain medications, including oral contraceptives, anti-depressants, and heart medication
- Diabetes and the associated fluctuations in blood sugar
- A compromised immune system due to poor nutrition
If any of these risk factors apply to you, it is crucial that you attend regular dental examinations so Dr. Archacki can monitor the health of your gums. Early diagnosis of gum disease is the best way to prevent irreversible damage to your oral health.
While gum disease can be painless in early stages, it is also associated with a variety of symptoms, including:
- Inflamed gums that are swollen, red, or tender
- Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
- Persistent bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Increased space between teeth
- Changes in your bite
- Mouth sores
- Pus surrounding the teeth and gums
You may also notice pain or discomfort while chewing or an increased sensitivity to hot or cold foods. These symptoms are associated with several oral health concern in addition to periodontal disease. If you experience persistent discomfort, contact our office right away to schedule an appointment.
Your Treatment Options
There are several surgical and non-surgical methods for treating gum disease. One of the most commonly recommended procedures, especially for the early stages of periodontal disease, is scaling and root planing. Also known as a professional deep cleaning, this procedure cleans any pockets of bacteria around or under the gum line. Then Dr. Archacki or a member of our team can smooth rough spots on the tooth roots to reduce the likelihood of your gum disease returning.
Dr. Archacki has over 30 years of experience treating periodontal disease. He can provide effective treatment, as well as instruction on how to maintain healthy gums at home.
In cases of advanced gum disease, surgery may become necessary to address more significant, widespread decay. Common forms of gum surgery include:
- Pocket reduction
- Flap surgery
- Regenerative procedures
- Crown lengthening
- Soft tissue grafts
To avoid more extensive procedures, it is important to adopt a consistent at-home oral hygiene routine. We recommend brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily. However, the best method for preventing gum disease is through regular dental examinations and professional cleanings at our office.
Protect Your Health
Some studies show that gum disease not only affects your oral health. This research has found the condition may be linked to systemic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Fortunately, Dr. Archacki has over 30 years of experience treating periodontal disease. He can provide effective treatment, as well as instruction on how to maintain healthy gums at home. Contact our office online or call us at (561) 736-1177 to learn more about gum disease and what we can do to help.
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