Riverside Dental

Recognizing the Signs of Periodontal Disease and Getting Treatment

Nearly 50% of all adults over the age of 30 have some type of gum disease. Although this is extremely common, it can be extremely serious and lead to an array of issues and complications if left untreated. For this reason, early detection is vital. Recognizing the signs of periodontal disease early on can help. 

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a range of problems that can impact your oral health. In many cases, people with this disease experience chronic inflammation of the gums.  This type of disease continues to worsen without any intervention, which can lead to issues such as:

  • Gum inflammation: Periodontal disease often begins with gingivitis. This is an early state that results in inflammation of the gums. This inflammation can cause make it uncomfortable to brush and floss your teeth. In some cases, you may notice redness, swelling, and tenderness.
  • Pocket formation: Bacteria that accumulate along the gumline can lead to the formation of periodontal pockets in the spaces between the gums and teeth. These pockets deepen over time, providing a conducive environment for bacterial growth and making it challenging to clean effectively.
  • Gum recession: As periodontal disease advances, the gums may begin to pull away from the teeth. As a result, the tooth roots can become exposed. Gum recession not only affects the appearance of the smile but also increases tooth sensitivity and the risk of decay in the exposed root surfaces.
  • Bone loss: This disease can progress to periodontitis, which is a more severe form of gum disease. This condition involves irreversible damage to the bone and tissues supporting the teeth. As the bone continues to deteriorate, the teeth may become loose and ultimately require extraction or fall out on their own.

In addition to experiencing an array of dental problems due to periodontal disease, there is a risk of systemic health problems. Several studies show a strong link between periodontal disease and diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory infections. These and other severe health conditions can be debilitating and, in some cases, even life-threatening. 

Common Signs of Periodontal Disease

There are several common symptoms associated with periodontal disease. Some of the most common include:

Gum Inflammation

One of the earliest signs of periodontal disease is red and swollen gums. In addition, they may feel tender to the touch. Healthy gums will appear pink and feel firm. Any changes in appearance or texture may indicate gum disease.

Receding Gums

As periodontal disease progresses, individauls often notice that their gums are pulling away from the teeth. This can make the teeth appear much longer. Sometimes, it can lead to tooth sensitivity and an increased risk of dental decay.

Bleeding Gums

Bleeding while flossing or brushing is another common sign of periodontal disease. This often occurs as a result of the gums becoming inflamed and sensitive. As a result, they are more likely to bleed.

Pain or Discomfort

Periodontal disease can cause discomfort or pain when chewing, biting, or applying pressure to the gums. This may indicate advanced stages of gum disease and should be addressed as soon as possible.

Persistent Bad Breath

Another common size of periodontal disease is chronic bad breath. This occurs when bacteria become trapped in the pockets between the teeth and gums. When this happens, it can create foul-smelling gases, which are expelled when you breathe.

Tooth Loss of Shifting Teeth

In severe cases, you may notice that your teeth are shifting or becoming loose. This often occurs when the tissue and bones that support your teeth become damaged. Without timely intervention, the affected tooth can be lost.

Treatment Options for Periodontal Disease

Several treatment options exist for treating periodontal disease. Some of the most common include:

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy can be used to target and remove diseased gum tissue. This treatment option also effectively promotes the regeneration of healthy tissue. Laser therapy can help reduce pocket depth and improve gum health with less discomfort and faster recovery times compared to traditional surgery.

Scaling and Root Planing

This non-surgical procedure involves removing tartar buildup and plaque from below the gumline. This helps to eliminate bacteria and smooth the tooth roots, promoting gum reattachment and reducing inflammation.

Antibiotic Therapy

There are some periodontal diseases that can be treated with antibiotics. These medications help control bacterial infection and reduce inflammation in cases of moderate to severe periodontal disease. Depending on the severity of the issue, antibiotics may be taken orally or applied directly to the gums in the form of gels. In some cases, mouth rinses or microspheres may be used.

Gum Grafting

If there is gum recession, grafting may be a necessary step used to restore any lost tissue in the affected area. In addition, gum grafting can help re-cover exposed tooth roots to ensure their protection. This procedure typically involves removing tissue from another area of the mouth or using donor tissue.

Periodontal Surgery

For advanced cases of periodontal disease, surgical intervention may be required to access and remove deep-seated plaque and tartar and repair damaged gum and bone tissue. Surgical procedures may include flap surgery, bone grafting, or guided tissue regeneration.

To ensure your condition does not worsen, it is vital that you reach out for assistance at the first sign of any symptoms of periodontal disease. Scheduling regular dental cleaning and checkups can also help to ensure you maintain good oral health for years to come.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Taking care of your oral health is crucial for maintaining a healthy smile and overall well-being. Through this article, we have discussed the signs of periodontal disease and why it is important to seek treatment from Dr. David Meade and Dr. David Groh at Riverside Dental. With our team’s dedication to excellence in family dentistry, cosmetic procedures, and personalized care, we are committed to making your dental visits comfortable and productive. 

Remember, early detection and treatment can help prevent further damage from periodontal disease. Schedule an appointment at our office in Watertown, WI, by calling (920) 262-2176 to discuss your

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