Gum Disease: How Bad Is It?
You’ve probably heard of gum or periodontal disease and its less severe form called gingivitis. They both sound scary, and a lot of patients get anxious at the dentist by the very thought that they could be affected. While gum disease is potentially dangerous over time, proper treatment early on can do a lot to reverse the damage that has been caused.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by the same thing that creates cavities: plaque. Plaque is the sticky feeling on your teeth at the end of the day, or the white stuff along your gumline that makes you immediately reach for a toothbrush. Plaque contains bacteria, and that bacteria produces acids that eat away at the enamel of your teeth. When plaque finds its way beneath your gumline, it can start growing unchecked by your toothbrush, leading to inflammation and damage to your gums.
The early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, can cause:
As gingivitis progresses into full-blown gum disease, these symptoms can worsen, and your gums can also start pulling away from your teeth. This can lead to periodontal pockets that become easily infected, and can even cause tooth loss! It can also lead to worsening chronic halitosis, or bad breath, that can take away your self confidence and assuredness in social situations.
What Can You Do To Help?
At Avant Dental, we have been treating patients with gingivitis and gum disease for years. In that time, we’ve found that there are plenty of simple steps that can be taken to eliminate the damage caused by gum disease, much of it far simpler than you’d think.
The most tried and true way of treating gum disease is through a process known and root planing and scaling. This procedure involves the use of specialized tools that look a lot like standard dental picks to remove plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) from below your gumline.
The first step is scaling, which removes all the plaque built up at and below your gumline. Once the space between your gums and teeth are clean, we move on to planing, which involves using another tool to smooth out the surface of your teeth below the gums. This is done to give your gums the best chance possible to reattach themselves to your teeth. Smoothing the rough spots below your gums also eliminates the nooks and crannies where bacteria likes to hide.
Once we’ve cleaned and prepared your mouth for healing, we’ll also help you learn all the best oral care steps to make sure that your mouth stays clean and healthy during the recovery process. We’ll have you return more frequently than your regular six-month visits so that we can keep an eye on your gum healing and recovery.
For patients who have lost a lot of gum tissue due to advanced gum disease, we’ll work with a specialist to help determine your best cosmetic options. Procedures like gum graftings are possible, and we want nothing more than to get you the perfect smile!
If you are concerned about gum disease, don’t wait another day to find out what could happen to your teeth! Call any of our four Winnipeg area locations today to schedule an appointment for gum disease treatment! You can also schedule here using our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!