Gum disease is an inflammatory infection of the gum tissue that can affect the bone that surrounds the teeth. It’s fairly common, caused by bacteria in plaque (a film that constantly forms on your teeth).
If you don’t remove plaque from your teeth by daily brushing and flossing, then it will harden into tartar, which can only be removed by a professional cleaning. The bacteria in plaque can accumulate between the gumline and your teeth, forming pockets.
The bacteria that’s trapped in those pockets will eventually attack the bone and tissue that supports your teeth. Without treatment, it can lead to tooth loss.
Highland Advanced Dental Care in Highland Township MI, can help you keep gum disease from happening and we can probably fix it once it has started.
Stages Of Gum Disease
There are three stages of gum disease:
- Gingivitis: The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis presents as inflammation of the gums. Signs that you have gingivitis are bleeding while you’re brushing and flossing your teeth. The damage to your gums can be be reversed at this stage because the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place have not yet been affected.
- Periodontitis: It’s at this stage when the supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place are irreversibly damaged. You’ll start to form pockets below the gumline, which will trap food and plaque. A proper professional cleaning at this stage can usually prevent further damage.
- Advanced Periodontitis: In the final stage of gum disease, advanced periodontitis, the tissue and bone supporting your teeth are destroyed. This causes your teeth to shift or loosen. Even professional treatment may notsave the teeth, and they may have to be removed.
One you’ve lost your teeth, things are a lot different. Everything from the way you eat to how you smile is changed. At that point, your options include dentures or dental implants, both of which are a lot more involved and costly.
How do You Know If You Have Gum Disease?
You can develop gum disease can occur at any age, but it is most common during adulthood. As we said, however, if gum disease is detected in its early stages, it can be reversed.
Regular routine visits to your dentist’s office can help. We’ll be able to see any slight changes in the health of your mouth before they become problems. If we catch the problems early, we can keep them from getting too serious.
Some people put off dental appointments until they start experiencing problems. See your dentist if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
- A bad taste in your mouth or constant bad breath
- Receding gums
- Gums that have separated, or pulled away, from your teeth, creating a pocket
- Pus coming from between your teeth and gums
What Happens During A Professional Cleaning
Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or hygienist can remove plaque that has built up and hardened into tartar. For most people, a teeth cleaning is simple and painless.
When you come in for a cleaning, this is what you can expect:
The dental hygienist will use a scaler to get rid of plaque and tartar around the gumline and in between your teeth. The more tartar there is in your mouth, the more time it’ll take to scrape a it off.
After your teeth are completely tartar-free, the hygienist will use a high-powered electric toothbrush. The brush will contain a toothpaste that tastes and smells like regular toothpaste, but it will have a gritty consistency. This gritty consistency will work on your teeth like a scrub works on your skin.
What Happens During A Deep Cleaning
We will use something called root planing and scaling to help stop bacteria from irritating your gums. Our specialized tools can get underneath the gumline without surgery to clean where bacteria is hiding.
Another option we offer is called Perio Protect to fight bacteria. Perio Protect uses trays like the ones we use with teeth whitening, but they hold a medicinal gel that attacks bacteria. You just wear the Perio Protect trays for a few minutes each day.
If you want to keep gum disease from happening to you or if you want to get rid of the gum disease you have, set up an appointment. Call us at 248-329-3552 or fill out our online form. Get ahead of gum disease before it gets ahead of you!