Periodontal disease can affect your life in many ways, making it difficult to eat, drink, and even smile comfortably. Beginning with gingivitis and worsening without treatment, gum disease can cause significant damage and discomfort, including receding gums and tooth loss. Unfortunately, roughly half of adults in the U.S. have periodontitis, the more advanced stage of periodontal disease. It’s crucial to see a dentist for treatment if you’re concerned that there’s a problem. Here’s what you should know.
Causes of Gum Disease
Without proper dental care and regular dental cleanings, plaque builds up on the teeth and the gums. Eventually, this substance hardens into a substance called tartar, which can cause a number of painful symptoms and lead to infection. As the buildup worsens, it begins to creep under the gumline where it becomes even more difficult to remove. Periodontal disease tends to develop with time, usually due to a lack of sufficient daily brushing and flossing along with regular professional teeth cleanings.
Not all symptoms of periodontal disease are obvious, and you may not think to visit a dentist until you discover your gums bleed or appear swollen. They might also feel tender to the touch. Other signs of a problem include bad breath that remains strong despite your efforts to control it, difficulty chewing due to tooth sensitivity, and receding gums.
When the latter problem develops, the affected teeth may appear longer as more and more of the gum wears away. At this stage, teeth will begin to loosen and are at risk of falling out.
Only a professional can diagnose periodontal disease. During the initial appointment, the technician may first take an X-ray of your mouth to get a closer look at your jawbone and determine the extent of any possible tissue loss. Then they’ll check the gums for signs of inflammation and measure the depth of the pockets surrounding each tooth. The deeper the pocket, the more severe the gum problem.
To effectively treat the disease, you may be advised to consider periodontal therapy in an effort to restore the condition of your gums and minimize bone and tooth loss. Treatments might include scaling and root planing. If this nonsurgical method isn’t successful, gum grafting may be necessary to rebuild tissue.
With help, gum disease can be managed. If you’re seeking a trustworthy dentist in Greensboro, NC, to assist with your periodontal concerns, turn to Judy Walker, DDS. The family dentistry practice offers a variety of services designed to improve your teeth and gums, including cleaning, teeth whitening, and periodontal therapy. Visit the website for more information or call (336) 275-1472 to schedule an appointment.