Gum disease is the common name for what dentists call periodontal disease — this is when bacteria grows in your mouth and causes infection, which can lead to tooth and bone loss, among other more serious issues.
Gum disease can start with mild symptoms, like gum inflammation, which is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is a disease that is reversible and can be managed with the right care. If you leave your gingivitis untreated, it can lead to more severe periodontitis, which is characterized by bone loss. The bacteria that causes periodontitis is detrimental to your dental health and can cause adverse effects on your heart and blood vessels.
It’s important to take care of your teeth and gums with a proper oral hygiene routine along with regular visits to the dentist and being mindful of making good choices like not smoking. Management of systemic diseases, like diabetes, is also essential to maintaining a healthy mouth with a decreased risk of developing periodontal disease.
If you notice any of the below symptoms of gum disease you should book an appointment to get treated early to avoid serious issues down the line:
Red, swollen gums
Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
Deep pockets between teeth and gums
Loose or shifting teeth
Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, or in the fit of partial dentures
The treatment of periodontitis can involve laser assisted debridement or deep cleaning, known as “root planing” at our Sterling dental practice. If the gum disease is not properly diagnosed and treated, it can require surgical intervention to manage, so be sure to book your routine exams with your Sterling dentists!