Periodontal disease begins gradually; it then rapidly advances and leads to unfavorable consequences if left untreated, including jawbone deterioration and tooth loss. At Lee & Milani Family Dentistry, the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease is a high priority. If you have not attended a dental check-up in the past six months, please contact us and schedule an appointment regarding your overall gum and oral health.
What are gingivitis and periodontitis?
Gingivitis and periodontitis are gum diseases triggered by an increase of bacteria along and below the gums. Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal disease, but it does not indicate any bone and tissue loss. Gingivitis is detected with symptoms like gum inflammation or gum bleeding that is treatable and reversible. Even though it is highly treatable, gingivitis is frequently left untreated, which allows the gums to reach an advanced stage of a periodontal disease known as periodontitis. Periodontitis is a type of gum disease that presents itself as receded and inflamed gums from the teeth that form “deep pocket depths,” progressing to further infected gums. Periodontitis requires more invasive treatments to prevent total tooth loss. However, in advanced periodontitis, which is the final state of gum disease, the fibers and bone supporting tissues are destroyed and teeth may need to be extracted if aggressive treatment cannot save them.
How can I tell if I have periodontal disease?
Many cases of periodontal disease do not exhibit apparent symptoms until they have reached advanced stages. For this reason, attending regular dental checkups is very important when it comes to preserving the vitality of your teeth and gums. There are some symptoms that patients can watch out for, including:
- Swollen or red gums
- Changes in the way certain teeth or overall bite feels
- Teeth that appear longer (a sign of a receding gum line)
- Persistent bad breath that remains even after brushing, flossing, or using mouthwash
Are any dental treatment options for periodontal disease available?
If we find out you are suffering from periodontal disease, a suggested treatment plan will be dependent on the severity of your condition. For mild cases of gum disease, more diligent oral hygiene at home may be enough to reverse any condition. When your gum condition involves moderate damage, an in-depth cleaning, known as descaling and root planing, can be very effective, as well as antibiotic therapy. In very severe cases of gum disease, surgical intervention may be required. Our San Antonio periodontists can work with you to determine and provide the best treatment for you.
Gum recession is what occurs when gum tissue is recessed and lowers its position on the tooth, exposing the roots of the teeth. This can be caused by any number of lifestyle habits, and your course of treatment is often dependent on the cause of the problem. Some options to reduce sensitivity, improve gum blood flow, and protect the gum are to change your habits or possibly undergo oral surgery performed by a periodontist.
What causes gum recession?
There are several different reasons for gum recession. The most common causes of gum recession include grinding your teeth (bruxism), atypical tooth positioning, genetics, excessive and aggressive brushing or flossing, trauma to gum tissue, gum disease, and poor oral health.
We’d love to hear from you and make sure you get the best periodontal care possible! Reach out to us at your convenience.