Do your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth? You may be developing gingivitis, which is a predecessor to periodontitis, or gum disease. Periodontitis is a fairly common disease and dental concern, affecting 3 million Americans each year. However, in the late stages of the disease, it can lead to tooth loss and gum recession. Dr. Ned Greenberg offers periodontal therapy to patients in Middle River, Maryland. Learn more about how to treat and prevent gum disease below, as well as common signs of the disease to look out for:
Signs of Gum Disease
There are multiple symptoms of gum disease to look out for:
- Gum recession
- Shifting teeth
- Halitosis (Bad breath)
- Loose teeth
If you have noticed any of these symptoms, schedule a dental exam and gum evaluation with Dr. Greenberg. When untreated, gum disease can lead to heart problems like cardiovascular disease, strokes, and heart attacks. We will work with you to find an effective treatment option to prevent future dental and health problems from developing.
Treating Gum Disease
There are surgical and non-surgical treatments that treat gum disease. Non-surgical treatments include antibiotics, or scaling and root planing. Antibiotics can help eliminate bacteria that cause gum infection. Scaling and root planing are treatments used in tandem. Scaling removes bacteria and tartar from between teeth and on the gums. Root planing also removes inflammation-causing bacteria by smoothing down tooth roots and helping them reattach to the gums.
Surgical gum treatments may include pocket reduction or flap surgery, bone grafting, and tissue regeneration. Flap surgery exposes the tooth roots for more effective scaling and planing. When the gums recede, patients will need bone grafting, which takes bone tissue from a different area of the mouth to support the gums. The aim of all of these treatments is to promote gum regrowth.
There are also preventative measures patients can take to stop gum disease from developing in the first place. Visiting the dentist twice a year for regular dental cleanings can help prevent gum disease. Remember to brush and floss twice a day, and even after meals, to prevent gum inflammation from developing into periodontitis.