Like most ailments, periodontitis – otherwise known as gum disease – will get worse over time if not treated by your dentist, and is the main cause of tooth loss in adults. It is caused by toxins that get into our teeth and gums through bacteria that feeds off the sugar left in our mouths if we do not clean them frequently enough or sufficiently well enough, and this bacteria will eat away at your gums if not treated. The initial infection is called gingivitis, and can even lead to the destruction of bone.
There are four main types of gum disease: aggressive disease, chronic disease, necrotizing periodontitis, and periodontitis from system disease. While each of them has their own signs and symptoms, your dentist will need to treat them all differently to prevent tooth loss.
Common Symptoms And Signs
One of the key problems of gum disease is that at the very outset, it does not have any symptoms. That is why it is even more important to keep an eye out for the below symptoms, and visit your dentist regularly so that they can spot any infection as quickly as possible. If you are experiencing any of the below symptoms, the time to speak to your dentist is now:
- Bleeding without cause: if your gums bleed when you eat, brush, or floss, that is not natural and should be taken as a symptom of gum disease as it is the toxins in the bacteria that is causing it.
- Redness, pain, or swelling: gums that display any one, two, or all three of these symptoms will almost certainly be fighting off gum disease, and you should have it treated before it takes the infection around your body.
- Long teeth: as the periodontitis attacks your gums, they will be destroyed and start to make your teeth look longer. The toxins in the bacteria do this, and will continue to do so unless they are removed.
- Halitosis/bad breath: although there are many different causes for bad breath, one main one is food particles that have become trapped in pockets of your gums, and have started to rot. The bigger the gaps, the more debris that can be found in them.
- Loose teeth, changes in bite: the more that gum disease progresses, the more that it becomes likely that teeth will start to become loose, and as the disease progresses to the bone beneath the gums, teeth can disappear as they fall from the jawbone.
- Pus: no pus is ever a good sign, and when it occurs in your mouth that is a very bad sign. This shows that the periodontitis is getting much worse, and the body is struggling to fight off the infection.
Periodontal Disease Treatment
In order to prevent gum disease from progressing and wreaking havoc on your gums, teeth, and bone, your dentist will examine your whole mouth to understand what stage the infection is at. Antibiotics will almost certainly be prescribed, and there may even be a few surgical actions that they will need to take, such as cleaning out the debris left in gum pockets. Planingof the tooth or root canal may also be necessary, and those gaps may then be treated with antibiotics to prevent the infection from returning.
For patients with the most severe cases, other treatment options such as laser treatment to decrease the gum pocket size, tissue grafting to encourage new tissue growth, or pocket elimination surgery to fill in the pockets completely may be offered in order to prevent gum disease from progressing further and taking teeth with it.
For a free consultation to find out if you have gum disease, call (619) 640-5100