Gum Disease: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

The soft tissue around your teeth is important because it provides support. Dentists recommend brushing your teeth and flossing at least twice daily or after every meal. This dental hygiene practice prevents the accumulation of bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria are harmful because they cause infection, a condition known as periodontitis. Gum infection is a serious oral condition requiring Humble periodontal treatment to preserve dental structures.

Failure to receive early treatment causes teeth to loosen from their sockets. Patients with severe periodontitis may experience tooth loss. Periodontitis is a popular dental concern. Although popular, you can avoid developing this gum infection. The only way to maintain healthy gums is to commit to oral hygiene practice and attend regular dental checkups.

What are the symptoms of gum infection?

You should be aware of the signs and symptoms of gum infection to appreciate the need for treatment. The earlier you receive periodontitis treatment, the higher your chances of better clinical outcomes. Patients with healthy gums have teeth with a snug fit. The symptoms of periodontitis include:

  • Swelling in the gums
  • Gums that are tender to the touch
  • Bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Pus between teeth and gums
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Receding gums

What causes periodontitis?

Plaque forms when you fail to brush your teeth and clean your mouth. Plaque is the result of food debris and bacteria interaction. Brushing eliminates plaque. However, unaddressed plaque turns to tartar. Tartar is hardened plaque and is immune to regular brushing and flossing. Professional teeth cleaning is the only way to remove tartar. The longer tartar stays on your teeth, the faster you develop gingivitis, a mild gum infection causing irritation and swelling. These symptoms cause periodontitis causing the formation of deep pockets around your teeth. Failure to receive treatment will cause tissue and bone loss.

Who can get a gum infection?

Gum infection occurs in patients without regular dental hygiene practices. However, certain factors may increase your risk of periodontitis. For example:

  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Genetics
  • Poor nutrition: a low vitamin c diet
  • Health conditions that cause low immunity, like HIV/AIDS and cancer
  • Certain diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes

What is the diagnostic procedure for periodontitis?

The following are the diagnostic protocols that your dentist will conduct to determine the presence and severity of your gum disease:

  • Review your symptoms
  • Review your medical history to identify predispositions to gum complications.
  • Examine your gums to detect plaque and tartar
  • Measure the depths of the gum pockets around your teeth
  • Leverage dental x-rays to detect bone loss

What is the treatment for periodontitis?

Periodontal treatment involves cleaning the pockets around your teeth to prevent the spread of infection to surrounding tissue. Treatment efficacy improves when you brush your teeth and avoid tobacco use. Mild gum infection may benefit from less invasive treatments like scaling, root planing, and antibiotics.

Advanced periodontitis may require surgical interventions through flap surgery, soft tissue grafts, and bone grafting. Contact Hardy Webster Dental to discuss your periodontal treatment options to eliminate the infection from your gums and restore a healthy mouth.