As a dentist, it is my duty to educate and inform my patients about the importance of oral health. One common issue that many people face is gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. This is a serious condition that can lead to tooth loss and other complications if left untreated. In this blog, I want to discuss the symptoms of gum disease and the various treatments available to combat this disease.
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone that support your teeth. It is often caused by poor oral hygiene, but can also be influenced by factors such as smoking, diabetes, and genetic predisposition. The symptoms of gum disease can vary, but some common signs to look out for include:
1. Bleeding gums: If you notice blood when brushing or flossing, this could be a sign of gum disease.
2. Swollen or red gums: Healthy gums should be pink and firm. If your gums are swollen or red, this could indicate inflammation caused by gum disease.
3. Bad breath: Persistent bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be a sign of gum disease.
4. Receding gums: If your gums are pulling back from your teeth, this could be a sign of gum recession caused by gum disease.
5. Loose teeth: As gum disease progresses, it can cause the bone supporting your teeth to weaken, leading to loose teeth.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment of gum disease can help prevent further damage to your oral health. Depending on the severity of the disease, your dentist may recommend one of several treatments:
1. Professional cleaning: In the early stages of gum disease, a professional cleaning and improved oral hygiene habits may be all that is needed to reverse the condition.
2. Scaling and root planing: This deep cleaning procedure removes plaque and tartar from below the gumline and smooths the roots of the teeth to prevent bacteria from reattaching.
3. Antibiotics: In some cases, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help control the bacterial infection causing gum disease.
4. Surgery: In severe cases of gum disease, surgery may be necessary to repair damaged gum tissue or bone.
Prevention is always the best approach when it comes to gum disease. Make sure to brush and floss regularly, eat a healthy diet, and schedule regular dental check-ups to keep your gums healthy. If you are experiencing any symptoms of gum disease, don't hesitate to contact your dentist for a thorough evaluation and personalized treatment plan. Your oral health is too important to ignore.

Dr. Ann Nguyen-Chung

Family Dentist & Founder of Hippotanicals

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