What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is characterized by inflammation of the gums. The extent of gum disease varies. Inflammation that persists can damage the bone that supports your teeth. Plaque is the root cause of gum disease. Left untreated, plaque can eventually lead to infections of your teeth, gums, gum tissue, and bones.
To prevent your teeth from being lost due to your bone and gum tissue being destroyed, gum disease needs to be detected and treated immediately. Regular checkups with your dentist can help prevent and treat gum disease before it becomes irreversible.
Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease can be classified into three stages:
- Gingivitis: Inflammation of the gums caused by plaque buildup on the gum line. Plaque that is not removed through brushing and flossing produces toxins that can irritate the gum tissue, leading to gingivitis. Gum disease can still be reversed during this early stage, as the disease has not yet affected the bone that supports your teeth. You may notice bleeding when flossing or brushing if you have gingivitis.
- Periodontitis: At this stage, a pocket can form below the gum line, trapping plaque and food, further damaging your gums. The tissues and bones that hold your teeth in place have been irreversibly damaged. To limit further loss of bone and teeth, the patient needs to improve their dental hygiene at home and seek proper dental treatment.
- Advanced Periodontitis: When the bone and tissue supporting your teeth have been destroyed. This destruction will cause your teeth to become loose in your mouth and shift around. At this point, if you do not seek aggressive treatment, your teeth may suffer irreparable damage.
How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?
A patient of any age can develop gum disease. Most gum disease cases, however, occur in adults. The damage caused by gum disease can be reversed if it is detected in its early stages.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, then you need to schedule an appointment with us right away:
- You have swollen, tender, puffy, or red gums.
- When flossing or brushing, your gums tend to bleed.
- Your gums are pulling away from your teeth, forming pockets.
- You consistently have bad taste in your mouth or bad breath.
- There is pus between your gums and teeth.
- You notice changes in teeth alignment when biting.
Gum Disease Treatment
Treatment aims to control the infection. Depending on the severity of the gum disease, the number, and type of treatment will vary. Treatments of any kind require that the patient follow good daily dental care at home.
Treatment of gum disease should be based on prevention. This means:
- Consistently brushing and flossing twice a day
- Controlling plaque buildup with an anti-microbial mouthwash
- Maintaining regular dental checkups and cleanings
Early detection of gum disease increases the possibility of treating it before it becomes too severe. A professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar is typically necessary once the condition has advanced. After this, root planning can be performed, which involves smoothing the gums, teeth, and roots to make plaque less likely to stick to them. In extreme cases, skin grafts or regeneration may be required.
Choose Dr. Laskis & Parkview Dentistry for Your Gum Disease Treatment
Although there are many excellent dentists in Fountain Hills, Dr. Laskis is among the best. In the 2018 issue of Phoenix Magazine, she was voted a “Top Doctor” for her dedication to patients and her quick response to emergencies.
Dr. Laskis emphasizes the importance of treating the whole person. Her gentle approach to dentistry focuses on maximizing her patients’ comfort. Whenever she cares for patients, she treats them like an extension of her own family.
Our dental practice is committed to making your visit comfortable and enjoyable. Before we proceed with your treatment, our staff meets with you to discuss your options. You will never feel rushed to make a decision. Feel free to ask us any questions you want and to discuss your options in-depth. Our clients also receive the following benefits:
- Experience: Dr. Laskis is a member of both the ADA and the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
- Patience: Our trained staff can assist anxious patients in feeling more comfortable.
- Flexibility: We accommodate your schedule.
Learn how a gentle dentist can make a difference when treating gum disease. Our staff will assist you throughout the entire process, from the financial details to the post-operative care guidelines.