Periodontal (Gum Disease)
Diagnosis and Treatment of Gum Disease
Gum disease is one of the most common dental problems adults face, but gum disease can begin at just about any age. Gum disease often develops slowly and without causing any pain. Sometimes you may not notice any signs until the disease is severe and you are in danger of losing teeth.
With proper oral care and regular visits to Semiahmoo Dental, you will have the best program in place that will prevent this from happening to you. If you have neglected your oral care in the past, it can be turned around or even reversed in its early stages.
How Gum Disease Happens
Gum disease begins with plaque which is bacteria that will form on your teeth every day. If plaque is not removed every day by brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar (also called calculus).
Tartar (Calculus) cannot be removed by brushing and flossing. Tartar can lead to an infection at the point where the gums attach to the teeth (called the “point of attachment”). In these early stages, gum disease is called gingivitis. Your gums may be a bit red and bleed when you brush, but you may not notice anything.
As gingivitis gets worse, tiny pockets of infection form at the “point of attachment.” You cannot see them, but you may notice puffy gums, traces of blood on your toothbrush, or a change in the colour of your gums. Your gums will probably not be sore.
Over time, the infection breaks down the gum tissue that attaches to the teeth. This is called “attachment loss.” At this point, you will notice swelling, bleeding or colour changes in your gums.
Along with “attachment loss,” gum disease causes the bone that holds your teeth in place to break down too. If gum disease is not treated, teeth become loose and in danger of falling out.
Once your gums have been evaluated, we will advise you of the available treatments. Early gum disease is very treatable and often is simply a visit to one of our very skilled hygienists and a ramped-up home care program. Following the instructions of home-care carefully usually corrects the problem for most people. Following these instructions BEFORE the problem occurs almost always prevents gum disease from ever happening. If the damage is severe, you might need deep cleaning over several appointment, 3-monthly visits to the hygienist, gum surgery, or even extraction of the affected teeth. We see this too often, and would rather stress prevention rather than perform the significant treatments to try to correct a problem which is already there. In very severe cases, we may refer to a specialist. Occasionally this is necessary, and we want to ensure you get the best of care in or out of our office.
Checking Your Gums
Check your gums on a regular basis for these signs of gum disease:
- change in the colour of your gums
- gums that are red around your teeth
- gums that bleed every time you brush or floss. Bleeding while flossing is the most accurate way of finding a problem at home. Sometimes it is just an object caught between the teeth for a while that causes the bleeding, and damage can be avoided by flossing it out. If you have an object caught between the teeth, tie a knot in the floss, move it side to side, and pull it out. If it won’t come out, see us right away so we can remove it before it causes damage.
- bad breath that will not go away
- a taste of metal in your mouth
- shiny, puffy or sore gums
- teeth that are sensitive for no reason
These are all good reasons to see us right away. Gum disease is one of the main reasons why adults lose their teeth. But the good news is gum disease can almost always be prevented. If it starts, it can be treated and can even be turned around (or reversed) in its early stages.
If gum disease is not treated, you can have gums that are always sore, red and puffy, get a painful infection (called an abscess) in the area between your teeth and gums or lose your teeth. Without enough gum tissue and bone to hold your teeth in place, they can become loose and fall out.
To Get More Information About Bleeding Gums and Gum Disease Book Your Appointment Today
Speak to one of our friendly patient coordinators to schedule you for a complete dental exam in White Rock BC. Let us help you regain your oral health so you may enjoy it for a lifetime. We also offer other dental services that you may wish to have us help you with. Call us today at 604-536-6711.