Gum Disease Symptoms and Treatments
By Patrick Casey on March 29, 2012
Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease, is a common dental problem. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of how detrimental it can be to their dental health if the problem is ignored or left untreated. Montreal cosmetic dentists Charles and Patrick Casey offer guidance on how patients can prevent gum disease from developing, as well as information on the symptoms and treatments of gum disease.
The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. The symptoms of gingivitis include:
- Redness at the gum line
- Swollen gums
- Sensitive gums (bleeding, pain)
Gingivitis can be easily treated with proper oral care, a simple dental cleaning at our office, and the use of an antiseptic mouthwash. If gingivitis is not treated, it will develop into periodontitis.
Periodontitis is caused by the build-up of plaque along the gum line. The toxins from plaque are released into the gums, resulting in inflammation and infection. The infection can spread to the bones that support the teeth; in the worst cases, gum disease destroys the bone, causing the teeth to fall out. Signs of periodontitis include
- Inflammation of the gums
- Bad breath
- Severe swelling
- Red/purple gums
- Separation between the teeth and gums
- Loose teeth
- Deterioration of the teeth
There are several treatment options for gum disease. In its early stage of gingivitis, one can simply improve their dental hygiene to reverse the effects of the disease. However, when gum disease progresses, more invasive treatment is required. Some of the common treatments for gum disease include:
- Scaling and planing: During the planing and scaling treatment, our dentists clean the teeth below the gum line down to the root to remove tartar; the surface of the teeth is also smoothed out so the gums can re-attach to the teeth. Because the treatment is much more involved than a traditional dental cleaning, local anesthetic is used to numb the teeth and gums during the procedure.
- Flap/pocket reduction surgery:This procedure is often performed in conjunction with planing and scaling; once the teeth have been cleaned and any rough spots removed, the gums are repositioned against the teeth to reduce the space between the teeth and gums.
- Soft tissue grafts: If the gums have receded or thinned out, a soft tissue graft may be needed to restore gum tissue and protect the teeth.
- Tooth restoration: Lack of good oral hygiene and gum disease result in severe damage to the teeth. If the tooth can be saved a dental filling or crown can be used to restore strength; if the tooth must be extracted, dentures, a dental bridge, or a dental implant can be used to replace it. Drs. Charles and Patrick Casey have years of experience using these dental restorations to improve the beauty, health, and function to our patient's smiles.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation at Smile Montreal. Our skilled dentists and friendly staff are here to serve your dental needs.
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“I felt more like I was talking to a friend than I was to a dentist.” Nancy Lanzolla, Former Patient