Gum disease is a serious dental condition that can have harmful effects on your oral health. It can also impact your overall health if not taken care of early. Gum disease impacts nearly 10 percent of adults in the United States. The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis and it is important to get treated as soon as possible. Below you will find helpful information about the early signs of gum disease and how to treat it. What are the stages of gum disease?
Stages of Gum Disease
Because gingivitis is the earliest form of gum disease, it is important to get treated as soon as possible. If you notice any of the following symptoms, contact your dental provider for an appointment.
- Red or Puffy Gums: When your gums are healthy they should appear pink and firm. However, unhealthy gums can be red and puffy. Generally inflamed gums need treatment as the issue does not subside on its own.
- Bleeding Gums: If you notice blood when you are brushing or flossing your teeth it can be a sign of gingivitis. It is never natural for your gums to bleed. Until you can see a dental provider, continue with your oral care routine but use caution and be gentle so you don’t exacerbate the issue.
- Pain or Sensitivity: If you experience unwarranted pain or discomfort, it’s likely a sign of gum disease. Pain or discomfort while chewing, or sensitivity to hot or cold foods or beverages is not normal.
- Receding Gums or Loose Teeth: You may notice that your gums are receding, which is often a clear sign of the early stages of gum disease. In addition to receding gums, loose teeth are a clear sign and should be treated as soon as possible. Tooth loss is not uncommon in untreated gum disease.
- Bad Breath: While this may not be as common as the other signs and symptoms of gum disease, bad breath can be an indicator of the early signs of gum disease. When harmful bacteria is not removed from your mouth it can cause bad breath and plaque buildup.
Gum Disease Treatment
Gum disease is also referred to as periodontal disease. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, you may need periodontal disease treatment in La Mesa. A dentist can assess whether you have gum disease, in addition to how severe it is in just one appointment. They will review your medical history, examine your mouth, take X-rays, and measure your pocket depth (the groove between your gums and teeth). Depending on the severity of your gum disease, there are a variety of treatment options.
What Options Do You Have
Non-surgical treatment options include scaling, root planing, or antibiotics. Scaling helps address the issues of gum disease as it removes the tartar and bacteria from the surface of your teeth and beneath your gums. Root planning smooth out the surface of your tooth’s root to impede further buildup of tartar and bacteria. It removes the bacterial byproducts that lead to inflammation. You may also need antibiotics if you have a bacterial infection. Infections caused by gum disease can be highly dangerous for your overall health. If your gum disease is in advanced stages, you may need surgical treatment.
However, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your dental provider to determine if you have gum disease so they can assess the best treatment options for you. The team at Smiles of La Mesa are skilled in periodontal disease treatment, in addition to a variety of preventative treatments to help keep your oral health in good shape. Contact the top dentist in La Mesa today for an appointment!