Red, swollen gums can be a serious indicator that you may have gingivitis or periodontal disease. Before it requires dental surgery to correct, Mital Patel, DDS and the dental team at Chandler Dental Arts in Chandler, Arizona can relieve your gum inflammation with a wide range of prevention and treatment options. Call or book an appointment online today to learn more.
Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition of the gums and supporting bone that causes the gums to separate from the teeth. This gradual inflammation and gum separation leads to small pockets forming between the gums and teeth, which causes infection from bacteria and plaque. When left untreated, periodontal disease leads to extreme tooth decay and tooth loss.
Gum disease typically starts with a mild form, called gingivitis, and progresses to periodontitis when left untreated.
Gingivitis is the most benign form of periodontal disease, and is reversible with proper treatment. Some obvious signs of gingivitis include:
While gingivitis is most often caused by poor oral hygiene, there are a number of risk factors that contribute to this painful condition, such as:
Good oral hygiene habits and routine care and cleanings at Chandler Dental Arts can help reduce, even reverse, the signs of gingivitis. Without professional care, however, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis over time.
Unlike gingivitis, periodontitis, or advanced gum disease, is not reversible once your gums begin to pull away from your teeth. At this stage, bacteria can begin to sneak into the pockets between your gums and your teeth, poisoning them with toxins that break down your teeth and cause tooth decay or loss.
As the disease progresses, your teeth and gums will become more infected, leading to tooth and bone loss if left untreated. What makes periodontitis a silent disease is that your decay may be so severe at this point that your gums no longer bleed when you brush your teeth, which makes many patients think their condition has reversed itself. Some patients have no idea they even have periodontitis until they begin to feel their teeth loosening.
There are several gum disease treatments available, depending on the stage of your condition. These treatments include:
Should you still be in the early stages of gingivitis, a professional cleaning and proper oral hygiene, such as regular brushing and flossing, may be all you need to reverse signs of the disease.
Also known as scaling and root planing, conventional periodontal therapy is a nonsurgical procedure performed under a local anesthetic. This procedure requires your dentist to scrape away plaque and bacteria on your teeth and under your gums.
If your gum disease has progressed to periodontitis, you may need surgery. This can be done by lifting back the gums to reduce pockets of plaque and bacteria. However, if your gum disease is extremely advanced, Dr. Mital Patel may recommend a soft tissue or bone graft surgery to restore lost tissue and bone.
For more information on periodontal disease and your treatment options, call Chandler Dental Arts or book an appointment online today.