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Gum disease is one of the most common issues that affect your teeth. This is a dental condition in which your teeth and gums get infected by bacteria, which leads to issues like sensitive gums, persistent bad breath, toothaches, and gum recession. Gum disease is a chronic issue and it only gets worse with time, which is why you must seek treatment immediately.

At Sun Ridge Smiles, we provide regular oral checkups so we can spot signs of gum disease at the earliest stage possible and treat it immediately. Please continue reading for a detailed discussion of gum disease and its treatment.

Stages of Gum Disease

As mentioned previously, gum disease is a chronic condition, which means it gets worse with time. The disease generally progresses in two distinct stages — gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease — when it’s easiest to treat. During this stage, gum disease results in minor inflammation of your gums and teeth. Your gums will be extremely red and sensitive — they may even bleed while brushing. At this stage, the bacterial infection has only spread to your gums and teeth and can be treated easily.

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is the final stage of gum disease — when it can only be treated with complex procedures. At this stage, the infection has spread beyond your gums and teeth and into your bone structure. You may have already suffered some bone loss, which would also lead to gum recession and loosening teeth. At this stage, you may have to opt for procedures like a root canal or osseous surgery to treat gum disease.

Causes of Gum Disease

The direct cause of gum disease is a bacterial infection and dental decay. However, the root cause of bacterial infection is generally weak oral hygiene and oral health.

When it comes to maintaining oral health, you need to take the following steps:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Floss your teeth at least once a day.
  • Rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash.
  • Go for regular dental deep cleaning appointments.

Most people abide by the first three of those when it comes to maintaining oral health. However, people don’t often go for a regular dental cleaning. This is a big mistake. No matter how well you brush and floss your teeth, you can’t get rid of all food particles stuck between your teeth. Over time, the food particles turn into a sticky substance called plaque, which eventually hardens into tartar. The accumulation of plaque and tartar directly leads to bacterial infection because bacteria are drawn to plaque. This, in turn, leads to dental decay and gum disease because the bacteria infect your teeth and gums.

During your regular dental cleaning sessions, the dentist will examine your teeth for signs of gum disease and they’ll remove all accumulated plaque and tartar. In doing so, they’ll prevent gum disease or bacterial infection from setting in. As such, the real root cause of gum disease isn’t a bacterial infection but a lack of oral hygiene.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

The following are the most common symptoms of gum disease:

  • Gum inflammation.
  • Sensitive gums that bleed easily.
  • Persistent bad breath because the bacteria in your mouth consume the plaque and tartar to release toxins.
  • Gum recession when the bacteria spread below the gum line, thus widening the pockets of space between your gums and teeth.
  • Sensitivity to temperatures and wearing off of your enamel.

Gum Disease Treatment

The exact treatment used for gum disease depends on the spread of infection. However, in the case of gingivitis, the following are the steps involved in gum disease treatment:

  • The dentist will run x-ray scans and visually inspect your oral cavities for signs of gum disease. Based on the diagnosis, they’ll come up with a treatment plan.
  • With a scalar device, the dentist will scrape off all the plaque and tartar in your teeth and under your gum line. The dentist will remove all the plaque and tartar from the deepest corners of your teeth.
  • If you’re suffering from gum recession, the dentist will use the root planing method to smooth the root’s surface, remove all the plaque and tartar, and reattach your gums to your teeth.
  • With an abrasive toothpaste, the dentist will brush your teeth, help you floss effectively, and make you rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash.
  • Finally, the dentist will apply a fluoride gel on your teeth to protect it from bacterial infection.

The aforementioned treatment — also known as dental deep cleaning — is only useful in the early stages of gum disease. If you’re suffering from advanced gum disease, you may need treatments like a root canal, osseous surgery, and gingivectomy.

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Gum Disease Q&A

Children are, in fact, extremely vulnerable to gum disease because they’re not very careful about their oral health and they’re more likely to consume sweets and candies, which increases their risk of bacterial infection. That’s why you must take your children for teeth cleaning appointments regularly.

Gum disease isn’t contagious because it’s caused by an inflammatory reaction to bacteria. However, the bacteria that lead to periodontitis can be spread through saliva so you still need to be careful and not share utensils or food with people who have gum disease.

You can prevent gum disease by following these tips:

  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly.
  • Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.
  • Go for dental cleaning appointments at least twice a year.

Schedule your Gum Disease Treatment

At Sun Ridge Smiles, our dentists carefully examine your teeth and oral cavities for signs of gum disease. If we see any signs, we immediately treat gum disease before it can advance further. If you’re suffering from advanced gum disease already, we curate a treatment plan that’s suitable for your specific needs. For more information, please schedule your gum disease appointment today.