Gum diseases start as gum infections that range from mild problems like gingivitis to significant issues like periodontitis. These issues can affect the bones and tissues that support your teeth.
Brushing and flossing regularly will prevent bacteria and plaque buildup, but any residual bacteria that stick around can infect your gums and lead to gingivitis.
When you first develop gingivitis, you may notice redness of the gums, swelling, and bleeding while brushing. Thankfully, gingivitis, in its early stages, can usually be fixed by proper brushing, flossing habits, and regular dental checkups.
If you are noticing pain, swelling, or bleeding in your gums, don’t hold off on consulting your dentists. Even a small case of gingivitis can grow into a severe case of periodontitis.
Causes of Gingivitis
Gingivitis develops when bacteria force your gums to become swollen, bloody, and red while you brush. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to bacteria. Thankfully, gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that you can combat by practicing good dental hygiene.
If you do not treat gingivitis, the plaque can start to harden and lead to your gum detaching from the tooth, forming a pocket between the two. The hardened plaque will slowly damage your bone and periodontal ligaments. These support your teeth, so damage to them can lead to tooth loss.
Signs of Gum Disease
Healthy gums are supposed to be pink and without inflammation or tenderness. You shouldn’t experience bleeding when you brush. If you notice these symptoms, you could be dealing with gingivitis:
- Bleeding gums
- Visible plaque
- Bad breath
The symptoms of periodontitis are similar, but some signs are specific to the disease. For instance:
- Loose teeth
- A pocket between the root and gums (4mm+)
- Receding gums
Treating Gum Infections
The best treatment option for a gum infection depends on how severe the issue is, and the length of time you waited before pursuing treatment.
Your dentist will perform a non-surgical, deep-cleaning procedure called root planing for mild or moderate gum disease.
Your gum will become numb with the help of a local anaesthetic. Then, the dentist will scrape off plaque and tartar below and above the gum line.
The dentists work on the mouth in quarters, so 2 to 4 appointments may be needed before the treatment is complete.
If you have severe gum disease, you may need surgical treatment. If that’s the case, our office will refer you to a specialist.
The pocket in between your gums and teeth will shrink after root planing. You may notice one side effect is the gum recession, making your teeth more sensitive to hot and cold. Your discomfort can be more manageable with antibiotics, pain medications, and anti-bacterial rinses.
Book an Appointment Today!
If you are concerned about gingivitis or periodontitis, you should consult a professional immediately.
If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth decay and loss. Contact our team of dental care experts at Ashwood Dental to set up an appointment today.