Gum disease is a very common dental problem and therefore many people have questions about the condition. Since it is such a common problem it is important that people understand more about the condition than they generally do. It is estimated by dentists that three out of five people with gum disease have no idea that they have it. If however, you know a little about the condition and its symptoms, then you can be on the look out for it and catch it early on. Early detection and prevention are essential if you want to enjoy good oral health now and into the future.
Gum disease starts out very mildly and steadily gets worse and worse. It is caused by bacteria in the mouth that are being produced all the time by our mouths. Often if this bacteria is left to thrive it hides out under the gums right in the root of the tooth. Over time this bacteria begins to attack the tooth enamel and infect the gums.
Early on in gum disease you are likely to experience either swollen or red gums and some bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth. Some other signs include constant bad breath and even loose teeth.
Dentists generally favour treating gum disease initially with the least invasive methods at their disposal. If your dentist spots the disease when it is in its early phase, it can be treated very easily. They can treat it with a thorough clean and the implementation of consistent oral health practices at home. Deep cleaning through the dentist involves them numbing the mouth and flushing out the bacteria that is hiding under the gum line. During this treatment you are likely to only experience some mild discomfort and perhaps sensitivity for a week or so following the procedure.
Once you have had this treatment performed it is essential that you develop excellent dental health routines at home to ensure that the bacteria are not allowed to come back and continue attacking the gums. This means regular brushing, flossing and rinsing with a recommended mouth rinse.
If the gum disease is more advanced, then you may require a surgical treatment to eradicate the infected gum tissue. These procedures may include flap surgery or tooth planing. When these are done they pull the gums back and clean the roots of the teeth removing plaque and bacteria. Your gums may also be stitched back into place to counteract the receding action and laser therapy is sometimes used too.
As you can imagine the surgical treatments are not at all pleasant, so it is essential that you take steps to protect your gum health and never allow the condition to reach such an advanced state.