Recognizing and Treating Gum Disease

Sad Man Getting Bad Tooth

Our Ann Arbor, MI, dentists urge you to show some love to your gums. They are important and contribute greatly to your overall oral health. When they’re under attack from bacteria, however, they can become compromised by gum disease which cannot be reversed once it progresses past the initial stage.

Here’s what you need to know about gum disease and how you can recognize key symptoms.

What Are the Stages of Gum Disease?

Gum disease starts out as gingivitis. It’s typical at this stage for the gums to become inflamed and easily bleed during tooth brushing. This is due to plaque buildup that can be cleaned by at-home hygiene as well as checkup appointments.

When an individual experiences gingivitis, they have gum irritation but do not yet have any irreversible bone or tissue damage and their teeth are still firmly intact. It is when gingivitis is left untreated and able to progress, that it develops into periodontitis which is much more serious.

Periodontitis encapsulates the later stages of gum disease and has greater oral health consequences. Unlike gingivitis which is reversible, periodontitis is a long-term and chronic condition.

Later stages of periodontitis can lead to destroyed bone tissue, loosened teeth, or even tooth loss. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to come to this as gum disease can largely be prevented with consistent oral care and routine teeth cleanings every 6 months.

Pay Attention to These Symptoms 

It can be easy to ignore certain symptoms of gum disease. For example, if you notice your gums becoming a bit red or bleeding during flossing, you might think you’ve just been too heavy-handed.

Regarding your gums, if you experience any new discomfort or a changed appearance, it’s important that you see our dentists before your condition progresses beyond quick treatment.

The symptoms listed below do not always guarantee that you have gum disease, but you should take note of them nonetheless.

Common gum disease signs include:

  • Gums that are red, swollen, or tender
  • Receding gums
  • Gums that bleed easily when brushed or flossed
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath

The earlier concerning symptoms are caught, the easier it is for both you and our dentists to treat them.

What Does Gum Disease Treatment Involve?

Through restorative dentistry efforts, varying degrees of gum disease can be effectively treated. One form of treatment for periodontal disease is scaling and root planing. Essentially, it involves a deep cleaning of your gums and teeth.

Oftentimes, those afflicted with gum disease have deep gum pockets around their teeth which allows food particles and plaque to settle there. For this type of treatment, our dentists will remove the plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line.

After that, they will smooth out your tooth roots to aid your gums in reattaching to the teeth. Gum recession is a common problem for those dealing with periodontal disease so this is a necessary step.

Other than this procedure, it’s all about formulating proper oral hygiene habits and sticking to them. Certain products or techniques may also be recommended to you by our dentists to help keep your mouth healthy.

Manage Your Gum Disease

If you are noticing any of the classic gum disease signs or symptoms, it’s wise that you seek out professional help from our dentists in Ann Arbor, MI. We can assess your condition and take the necessary next steps in terms of treatment. Call Excel Dental today at (734) 929-9999 to request an appointment.