Periodontal disease is a serious condition that can ultimately lead to tooth and bone loss when it is left untreated. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of periodontal disease so that you can have it treated as early as possible, before it has the chance to advance and cause potentially irreparable damage.
Gum disease occurs in a series of stages, with each subsequent stage featuring more severe symptoms. The mildest form of the condition, gingivitis, may present with swollen, red or bleeding gums.
Gingivitis can be addressed by a thorough professional cleaning, and many patients find that their symptoms resolve with just that treatment. However, if you ignore gingivitis and oral bacteria continue to attack the gums, it can progress into periodontitis, which will likely require the periodontist to provide a more invasive treatment.
For example, when pockets develop between the gums and the teeth, the periodontist probably will need to perform a root scaling and planing, in which the bacteria is cleaned from the roots, which are then smoothed to limit the possibility of further bacteria buildup. Periodontal pocket reduction surgery also may be necessary in patients with periodontitis, depending on the depth of the pockets.
If the gum tissue begins to recede, the patient may need to get a gum graft in order to replace the missing tissue and restore the smile’s appearance. This procedure requires gum surgery in order to place the donor tissue at the site of recession.
More advanced gum disease that leads to tooth and bone loss can create the need for complex treatments, such as dental implant placement and bone grafts.
When you suffer from an initial episode of gum disease, you face a significant risk of relapse. Therefore, it’s important to work with your periodontist to develop a plan for thorough home oral care and ongoing monitoring by dental professionals in order to reduce that risk.
If you have noticed symptoms of gum disease that are cause for concern, schedule an evaluation at our office so that you can get the correct diagnosis and treatment. Timely treatment for gum disease can help to save your teeth and preserve your smile!