Healthy gums do not bleed, remember that. So if you see blood while brushing or flossing your teeth, it may be a sign of gum disease or periodontal disease. If gum disease is allowed to progress, it can cause severe damage to the soft and hard tissues of your mouth and may necessitate tooth extraction.
At Implant & Periodontal Associates NW in Richland, Vikas Puri DDS and we can treat your periodontal disease and restore your gum health.
Dangers of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease is a common gum disease and is usually caused by the accumulation of bacterial plaque. In the initial stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, your gums will be slightly inflamed and swollen and may bleed while brushing. At this stage, there is little loss of soft tissue and the damage is reversible if you get it treated.
However, if left untreated, gingivitis turns into periodontitis, a more aggressive form of gum disease. This stage is characterized by painful, bleeding gums, bad breath, and pus in your gums. Your gums will also pull away from your teeth, resulting in deep pockets in which plaque will accumulate.
If you still do not get it treated, the disease will cause severe damage to your gums, ligaments, and supporting bony structure surrounding your teeth. As a result, your teeth will loosen and will eventually fall out.
There is also a risk that the infection may spread to other parts of your mouth and then to other parts of your body. In addition, gum disease has also been linked to issues like diabetes, stroke, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, and respiratory disease.
Prevention of Gum Disease
Gum disease can easily be prevented by practicing good oral and lifestyle habits:
|| Good Oral Hygiene: You should make it a habit to brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day every day and floss at least once a day. Floss can get rid of the stuck food particles between your teeth that a toothbrush cannot remove, and also prevent an environment where infectious bacteria may thrive.
||Regular Dental Checkup: It is important that you get a routine dental checkup every six months. At Implant & Periodontal Associates NW in Richland, we can perform a thorough cleaning of your mouth, and detect dental issues in their early stages.
Diagnosis of Gum Disease
To determine whether you have gum disease, we may:
|| Review your medical records that may be associated with gum disease. Certain medications can cause dry mouth, which can also increase the risk of gum disease.
||We will do a thorough examination of your mouth, including taking x-rays if necessary, to check for tartar and bleeding gums.
||We will measure the pockets between your teeth and gums with the help of a dental probe. If the pockets are more than 3mm deep, you may have active gum disease. Pockets that are over 5mm deep cannot be cleaned easily and will require a more aggressive method to disinfect.
Depending on the severity and extent of the gum disease, we may assign a stage and grade to your periodontitis.
Treatment of Gum Disease
If you have active gum disease, we may suggest non-surgical and less invasive procedures like root planing and scaling to get rid of the accumulated tartar and calculus. We may also prescribe antibacterial medication which can help fight the infection.
If, however, the non-surgical methods are not effective, we may have to move on to the surgical stage. These operations are minimally invasive and include pocket reduction surgery, also known as gum flap surgery, to remove the tartar from deep inside the gum pockets. If there is significant damage to your gums, we may also recommend a gum tissue graft surgery to regenerate your gums.
In case damage has spread to the bone, we may recommend a bone grafting surgery, which can help replenish lost bone.
Periodontitis is an aggressive and chronic disease which can only be managed with frequent treatments. If you suspect you have gum disease, we strongly advise that you schedule a consultation session with us by calling us at (509) 542-9111 so that we can diagnose the issue and recommend effective treatment methods for it.