What is Gum Disease and How It Develops?
It is an infection of your tissues that hold your teeth in place. Plaque is the common cause of gum disease.
Plaque is a sticky layer on your teeth in which bacteria thrive. The thin film of bacteria continues to form if you have poor oral dental hygiene. As plaque builds up, it hardens to tartar. You may develop an infection if the tartar extends below your gum line. If you don’t seek dental intervention, the condition can cause the gums to separate from the teeth. The tooth can become loose and unstable, eventually leading to tooth loss.
What are the Symptoms?
At Pearly Whites of Pearland dental clinic, we highly advocate for preventative dentistry. It’s better to find and treat a dental problem before it gets serious. Take note if you notice the following symptoms of periodontal disease:
- Red swollen gums. It’s one of the earliest signs that your gum needs medical attention. Your gums become inflamed along the gum line. Still, the gums may feel tender or painful and bleed easily during brushing and flossing.
- Bad breath. Your mouth is home to bacteria. The bacteria emit toxins that may irritate the gums and teeth. The toxins have an awful smell. The foul odor can be an indication that you need gum disease treatment.
- Gum recession or gums are getting smaller. If your teeth look longer than usual, chances are your gums are shrinking. Gum recession occurs when your margin tissue surrounding the teeth wears away, exposing the tooth’s roots.
- Sensitive teeth. If the teeth are sensitive to hot or cold foods or drinks, it may be a sign that the gums have receded and exposed your dentin. Dentin is the delicate part of the tooth.
- Teeth are shifting. If your smile looks different and your bite feels uncomfortable, chances are your teeth have moved. Periodontal disease attacks the bones that hold the teeth in place, loosening, or moving them. That’s why your smile and bite may feel different.
How to Treat Gum Disease?
If you experience any of the signs previously mentioned, visit us with immediate effect. Our Pearland dentist will do a dental oral exam to determine what’s affected and develop a personalized gum disease treatment plan. Below are treatment options available:
1. Deep cleaning.
Our dentist will use cleaning equipment such as a scaler to scrape off tartar below and above the gum line. If need be, the dentist will perform root planing. We will smoothen the rough surfaces of the roots of the tooth. The process helps the gums to reattach to the teeth.
As part of the treatment plan, we prescribe medications to treat gum disease such as;
- Antibiotic gel. After the deep cleaning, you apply the gel on the gum pockets to control infection.
- Antiseptic chip. You insert the chip into the gum pockets. The medication is released slowly over time to reduce the pocket size and get rid of bacteria.
- Enzyme suppressant. Our dental team will give you a tablet after deep cleaning to block particular enzymes in your mouth from breaking down gum tissue.
- Oral antibiotics. Our Pearland dentist will prescribe antibiotics to treat severe gum disease. You can take the capsules or tablets orally.
If gum disease is advanced and deep cleaning can’t address the whole problem, our dentist may recommend surgery such as:
- Flap surgery. Our surgeon lifts the gum to remove the tartar underneath the gum line. Next, the dentist stitches the gum back in place. We ensure the gum is tight around the tooth to hinder more tartar from forming.
- Gum graft surgery. Our dentist gets tissue from the part of the mouth. Next, we cover the exposed tooth roots to prevent bone loss or decay. The surgery prevents tooth sensitivity once the dentin is covered.
- Bone graft. We use a fragment of your bone, donated or synthetic, to replace destroyed bone by gum disease. The graft aids in the regrowth of a new bone and restores teeth stability.
- Soft tissue graft. If you have thin gums or empty spaces due to gum recession, this process is ideal for you. We get a graft tissue from the roof of your mouth, stitch it in place on the affected areas (on the thin gums or the empty spaces).
Gum disease may progress painlessly, producing apparent symptoms that you can easily go unnoticed. Therefore, it’s crucial to honor your scheduled visits at Pearly Whites of Pearland dental clinic. Our dentist will perform oral exams and cleaning.