Gum Disease and Periodontal Maintenance in Mill Woods, Southeast Edmonton

Gums are the tissue that surround and support your teeth. Gum disease is when this tissue becomes infected and is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease, which is also called periodontal disease. Plaque (the bacteria on teeth) is constantly forming, so regular dental care is important to preventing buildup that affects the gums.

If you experience bleeding or swollen gums, gums that are pulling away from your teeth, bad breath or taste, loose or changing teeth, you may have signs of gum disease. If you don’t take proper care of your teeth, smoke or chew tobacco, are pregnant, have diabetes, have crooked teeth, or take certain medications, you may have an increased risk of gum disease. Regular dental exams are important for identifying any symptoms that may develop into a problem.

Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. Gingivitis can be eliminated by a thorough dental and proper dental care following the cleaning. If gingivitis is not reversed, it develops into periodontitis, which is advanced gum disease. Almost half of adults over 30 are affected by chronic periodontitis, which can lead to irreversible loss of the tissue and bone that supports your teeth.

White periodontal disease can develop slowly, if you observe rapid loss of tissue or bone, you may have aggressive periodontitis. Consult a dentist immediately if you notice drastic changes in your mouth. However, there are not always warning signs for gum disease, which is why professional consultations and exams are so important.

Preventing Gum Disease

The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.

Treatment

In its early stages, gum disease is very hard to see. You may not know that you have a problem. But every time you have a dental exam, your dentist looks for signs of gum disease.

Your dentist may use a dental tool called a “periodontal probe” to measure where your gums attach to your teeth. Healthy gums attach to teeth just below the edge of the gum. If your gums attach to your teeth below this point, it is a sign of gum disease.

X-rays show how much bone is around your teeth. If you have gum disease, getting rid of plaque and tartar gives your gums a chance to get better. That’s why in the early stages of gum disease, the best treatment is cleaning by your dentist or dental hygienist to remove built-up tartar, brushing twice a day to remove plaque and flossing once a day to remove plaque.

When gum disease is more serious, your dentist may refer you to a dental specialist called a periodontist.