You may think you do not need to concern yourself with gum disease since you brush and floss your teeth regularly. Great oral hygiene habits and general dental care certainly keep gum disease and tooth decay from overtaking your mouth. In reality, you may be right, but you could also be wrong.
Even the best oral hygiene habits are not always effective against gum disease. Plaque can build up in places where your toothbrush and floss cannot reach. These are problem areas where gingivitis can develop. Early detection and treatment can prevent the situation from becoming a serious problem.
Treatment for Gingivitis
In its early stages, gingivitis can cause swelling or puffiness of the gums. Your gums may also bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. Treatment requires a thorough cleaning of the teeth and removal of the plaque deposits. Tartar or calculus buildup, due to the plaque, pushes the gums away from the tooth, creating pockets where bacteria grow. This can cause infection and inflammation.
Gingivitis needs to be treated as early as possible with a thorough cleaning. This cleaning includes the removal of the hard tartar, scaling and root planing. Having a full cleaning is often enough to stop the disease from progressing when proper home care is also administered. However, there are situations that require more extensive treatment.
If gum disease is not treated, it can lead to serious infection of the gums and eventual resorption of the bone around the tooth. This can cause the tooth to loosen and fall out. Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in older adults.
In addition to cleaning, scaling and root planing, treatment in later stages of gum disease may include antibiotics placed in the gums or taken orally. Surgery may also be required to remove necrotic gum tissue. Follow up visits to monitor healing are critical.
Prevention of periodontal disease is always the best option. However, when that is not possible, seeking treatment and following through on home care may prevent an unnecessary loss of teeth. If you have swollen or puffy gums, redness or bleeding, please make an appointment with Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta today. We will help get your gum disease under control and back to oral health.