Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States. At Creating Smiles Dental in St. Petersburg and Clearwater, Florida, Cindy Brayer DMD, PA, Phong Phane, DMD, and their team diagnose gum disease and provide personalized treatment plans to heal your gums and protect your dental health. If you’re due for a dental exam or have signs of gum disease, call Creating Smiles Dental, or schedule an appointment online today.
When the bacteria that cause plaque and tooth decay penetrate your gums, they cause gum disease. Clinically known as periodontal disease or periodontitis, the condition develops in four stages.
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. It causes inflammation in your gums, which can make them look red or purple. Your gums might also become sore, and you might have bad breath. However, in many cases, you can have gingivitis with experiencing any symptoms. This presents a problem because when left untreated, gingivitis worsens, and you develop periodontal disease, which progresses from slight to moderate and advanced.
Gum disease symptoms become progressively worse, and the infection becomes more severe. Some of the signs of gum disease include:
Eventually, your gums begin to pull away from your teeth. Your teeth look longer and become less secure in their sockets, becoming loose and finally falling out.
Additionally, gum disease has links with other health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease.
Although genetic factors, hormonal fluctuations, and stress contribute to your risk of gum disease, your lifestyle choices and dental hygiene can lead to the condition. For example, if you don’t brush and floss your teeth correctly, the bacteria in your mouth build up on your teeth and have a greater chance of infecting your gums. Additionally, smoking and consuming sugary foods and drinks increase your risk of gum disease.
The team at Creating Smiles Dental creates personalized treatment plans for gum disease, including in-office and at-home care. They often begin with a deep-cleaning procedure called scaling. During scaling, your dentist uses special tools to remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth, including below your gums.
Your dentist also gives you instructions on at-home care, including recommendations for the best products to protect your gums. Depending on the stage of your gum disease, your dentist might suggest more frequent dental cleanings, such as once quarter instead of once every six months.
Call Creating Smiles Dental, or make an appointment online today for expert diagnosis and treatment for gum disease.