Although untreated decay can cause extensive damage to your teeth, gum disease remains the leading cause of premature tooth loss. Unfortunately, many people don’t take gum disease seriously until it’s too late to save their teeth. At Summit Dental Group, your Boise, Idaho, dentists – Drs. Mooney, Studebaker, Ritchie, and Richardson – can detect signs of gum disease during a routine dental exam. We can help manage advanced gum disease symptoms through periodontal therapy to save your teeth and preserve your smile. Here’s what you should know about this condition and what it looks like.
First, it’s essential to know that gum disease can be prevented. Gum disease is caused by plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth, which forms a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. By diligently brushing and flossing your teeth and getting routine dental cleanings, you can avoid the conditions that lead to gum disease. Good oral care contributes to good oral health to prevent gum disease.
If you allow plaque and tartar to accumulate on your teeth, you risk developing a gum infection called gum disease. Early gum disease symptoms aren’t always noticeable. If you don’t see a dentist regularly, your condition could go unchecked for years until symptoms become severe. In its advanced stage, periodontal (gum) disease can destroy the bone structure of your teeth, causing them to become loose and fall out. The infection can also spread to other parts of your body through your bloodstream and cause major health issues.
The secret to curing gum disease is catching it early through routine dental visits. At this stage, gum disease can be easily treated through routine dental cleanings. Advanced gum disease will need more comprehensive treatment in the form of periodontal therapy to manage the symptoms and restore your oral health.
Unhealthy gums are a warning sign of gum disease. What do unhealthy gums look like? They’re red, swollen, and tender to the touch. They bleed when you floss or brush your teeth. They pull back or recede from your teeth, revealing the roots of your teeth. These are all warning signs of gum disease.
Other symptoms include:
At Summit Dental Group, we can help you resolve problems with gum disease through periodontal therapy. This treatment consists of:
Tooth scaling – We’ll deep clean your teeth using special instruments to eliminate plaque and tartar buildup above and below the gum line. We’ll also cleanse periodontal pockets where bacteria can breed.
Root planing – This procedure smooths out the root surfaces of your teeth to discourage future plaque buildup so your gums can heal.
Antibiotics – Depending on your condition, we may apply a topical antibiotic to infected gum tissues to promote quicker healing.