One of the most common oral health problems is gum or periodontal disease, and this is a result of the widespread of bacteria in your mouth. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of a gum problem but it can progress to an advanced stage called periodontitis if it is left untreated. Gum diseases do not only affect the gums, it also affects the structures that support the teeth, periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone. It can start from a simple inflammation to a worse condition that can cause a serious damage to the soft tissues in your mouth as well as the bone structures that support your teeth. And since gum and periodontal problems are a result of bacteria, what you can do in order to avoid these conditions is to make sure that you keep your mouth healthy and clean by regularly brushing and flossing. If the plaque deposits are not removed, they will not only lead to gum problems, they can also result in tooth decay and cavities.
Men are at a higher risk of suffering from periodontal diseases, though this is also common among adults who are at their 30’s and 40’s. But despite these facts, anyone can still get periodontal problems especially if good oral hygiene is not maintained.
What are the early signs of gum problems?
- Halitosis or chronic bad breath
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums or the gums that pull away from your teeth
- Loose teeth
- Pain felt when biting or chewing
- Teeth sensitivity
- Gums that are swollen or inflamed
What causes periodontal problems?
Periodontal problems begin from plaque, and plaque starts to build up on your teeth when you have not brushed your teeth for a couple of hours. Your immune system has a way of naturally fighting against the bacteria from the plaque buildup and this results in the inflammation and damage of your gums. When your gums start to bleed and get swollen, these could already be the indications of gingivitis. Gingivitis is just the earliest stage of a gum disease but this could cause your tooth to loosen and fall out in the long run.
Periodontal diseases can be prevented if you maintain good oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene goes beyond just brushing and flossing, it also includes your regular dental visits. Your dental visits are important because you can ensure thorough cleaning and this will also allow your dentist to spot early signs of gum problems.
Proper brushing and flossing are ideal ways to keep your mouth clean and healthy, however, these steps are sometimes not enough especially when the plaque buildup has already hardened into a tartar. Professional dental cleanings are what you need in order to manage the formation of plaque especially in the areas of your teeth that cannot be easily reached by your toothbrush.
Poor oral hygiene is the reason for the plaque buildup and when it starts happening, the bacteria can spread around your mouth, and in your teeth as well as in the gum line. Once the bacteria reach your gum line, brushing will not be enough to remove it and this is when you would need to have dental cleanings, otherwise they would result to inflammation and gum infections.
What treatments are available for gum diseases?
- Professional dental cleaning. Having a deep dental cleaning by your dentist will give you a thorough cleaning so that all the plaque and tartar buildup on the surfaces of your teeth will be eliminated. Through dental cleanings, your dentist will also be able to spot early signs of possible gum problems.
- Scaling and root planning. These processes involve the removal of tartar deposits as well as eliminating the rough surfaces on your teeth where bacteria can harbor.
- Flap or pocket reduction. This is performed by lifting the gums back to remove tartar and eliminate the spaces where bacteria can live and grow
- Bone grafting. Bone grafting is usually performed in order to replace the bone structures that were destroyed by gum disease with the use of your own bone fragments.
For more information about the treatments for periodontal diseases, call Greenfield Family Dentistry at (480) 420-3930, or visit us at 875 N. Greenfield Road, Suite 114 Gilbert, AZ 85234.