Periodontal or “gum” disease is a chronic bacterial infection of the gums that’s caused by the buildup of bacteria-filled plaque and tartar between the teeth and gums. If you don’t care for your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing properly, your risk of gum disease will increase.
This is a very common condition, and more than half of all American adults suffer from gum disease. If you don’t get care right away, this condition can cause irreversible damage to your mouth, so contact Confident Smiles & Implants today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Luis or Dr. Tori Mariusso and get the help you need.
It’s easy to avoid periodontal disease. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, floss once per day, and see the team at Confident Smiles & Implants for a teeth cleaning and oral exam every six months. You should also stop smoking or using alcohol to excess. Both of these habits can damage your oral health and increase your risk of periodontal disease.
Treatment for periodontal disease varies depending on your case. Usually, Dr. Tori and Dr. Luis will begin with a “deep cleaning,” also known as “scaling & root planing.” Along with antibiotics, this can resolve many cases of gum disease and get the condition under control. However, more severe cases of gum disease may require surgical treatment.
Periodontal disease is usually broken into three different stages, called gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. The first stage, gingivitis, results in minor inflammation and infection of the gums, and causes no permanent damage. With proper periodontal care and good at-home oral hygiene, gingivitis can be completely reversed and eliminated.
If left untreated, though, it progresses into periodontitis, which is irreversible and causes damage to your gums and the support structures of the teeth. In this stage of gum disease, the disease cannot be eliminated, but it can be controlled with proper at-home oral care and periodontal care from Dr. Luis and Dr. Tori Mariusso at Confident Smiles & Implants.
The final stage of gum disease is advanced periodontitis. In this stage of the disease, surgery such as gum grafting or gum flap surgery is typically required to restore your gums and save your remaining teeth, and you may need to have multiple teeth extracted and replaced.
The first stage of periodontal disease has relatively minor symptoms. You will typically notice dark red or purplish gums, inflammation around the gums, bleeding when brushing and flossing, and halitosis. The gums may also feel a bit tender and sensitive.
The second stage of periodontal disease typically results in even more discoloration and inflammation of the gums, as well as gum recession, which makes the teeth look longer. The teeth and gums may also feel much more painful and sensitive.
The third stage of gum disease has very severe symptoms. You may notice that your teeth are shifting and that they are fitting together differently, and it’s common for teeth to loosen or even fall out completely. You will feel significant pain and discomfort when chewing, and you may notice a foul taste in your mouth, or pus forming between the teeth and gums.