The bad news? Periodontal disease is one of the main causes behind tooth loss. The good news is that it’s treatable if you spot it early enough. Many people don’t realize that healthy gums are just as important as healthy teeth — and as dental professionals, our goal is to get you to optimal oral wellness! At North Tonawanda Family Dentistry, we can help with periodontal disease treatment.
Signs of Gum Disease
It’s quite common for patients to overlook the signs of gum disease. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s better to be safe than sorry and schedule a consultation at our dental office. The sooner you can stop gum disease in its tracks, the better!
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Sour taste in mouth
- Receding gums (or teeth that look longer)
- Noticeable pockets between teeth and gums
- Pus between teeth and gums
- Shifting or loose teeth
- Change in bite (feels different when you bite or chew)
- Tooth sensitivity
Stages of Gum Disease
The main reason to treat gum disease as soon as possible is so you can catch it before it progresses to a more advanced form where the symptoms become worse and your oral health is in greater danger of irreversible damage. These are the main stages of gum disease:
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. This is when your gums are inflamed. You may notice some bleeding when you brush or floss, redness, and/or swelling. Gingivitis is easily treatable with a deep cleaning as well as changes to your at-home oral hygiene routine.
Early or Moderate Periodontitis
If gingivitis is not treated, it can become early or moderate periodontitis. In this stage, plaque is actually found underneath your gum line rather than just near it. We can still reverse the damage of early or moderate periodontitis with a treatment called scaling and root planing, which is when we thoroughly remove any of the plaque and tartar that has built up above or underneath the gums.
The most serious stage of gum disease is advanced periodontitis. This is when there is bone damage or loss, which could result in you losing your teeth. Unfortunately, at this point the damage has become so severe that more intensive procedures like surgery, bone grafting, or dental implants may be necessary.