Feb 16, 2020

Are you noticing a bit of blood pooling around your gum line after brushing and flossing? Do these soft oral tissues appear to be red or feel inflamed? Whether you know much about gum disease, you should understand that these are just a few of the many signs and symptoms associated with this common, yet, harmful dental condition. Fortunately, with gum disease treatment, you can stop the progression and begin rebuilding your oral health. Read on to find out more about periodontal disease and how you can prevent future reinfection.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease is a common infection that attacks the soft oral tissue surrounding your teeth. As bacteria grows and spreads due to poor oral hygiene, plaque and tartar can spread beneath the gum line and ultimately result in bone and tooth loss as well as various health-related conditions and diseases (i.e. heart attack, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, respiratory disease).

What are the symptoms associated with gum disease?

When looking in the mirror, are your gums pink or red? Do they feel puffy or normal? To understand if you need gum disease treatment, you must first be able to identify the signs and symptoms, some of which include:

  • Red, inflamed gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Oral sores that don’t go away
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Pus that forms between your gums and teeth
  • Gum pocket formations
  • Difficulty chewing
  • A change in the way your teeth come together when biting

How is it treated?

Should your dentist discover that you have gum disease, it will be important that you receive the proper method of treatment in a timely manner to prevent it from progressing. If caught in the early stages (gingivitis), regular dental cleanings, and practicing good oral hygiene at home can reverse the symptoms and fully restore your gum health. However, if allowed to advance, it can turn into periodontitis, which is a more aggressive form of gum disease.

In this instance, your dentist will likely recommend a deep cleaning, also known as scaling & root planing. The first step will be to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria surrounding your gums and teeth. Next, they will smooth out the roots of your teeth in an attempt to encourage reattachment. This process will make it more difficult for reinfection to occur in the future.

Depending on the stage at which your gum disease has progressed, your dentist may opt to use a soft tissue laser to vaporize bacteria along the gum line and remove infected tissue.

Once you’ve finished your periodontal treatment, your dental team will use antibiotic therapy to ensure the infection does not reappear. By either applying a topical antibiotic or ingesting a pill, will work to kill bacteria hidden deep within your gums.

Patients with gum disease are often required to have more frequent dental cleanings to prevent the problem from coming back.

Don’t throw in the towel if you start seeing the signs of gum disease. Talk to your dentist as soon as possible to begin treatment. By taking the right steps and seeking care, you will be able to save your oral health and move forward with a healthier smile.

About the Author

Dr. R. Scott Thompson attended the University of South Florida, earning a degree in chemistry before enrolling at Emory University School of Dentistry. Two years after receiving his dental degree, he opened a private practice in Venice in 1990. He and his team at Tarpon Shores Dental want to ensure your smile is healthy and free of any potential problems, but if symptoms of gum disease appear, you can trust that he will employ only the best method of treatment to help you regain your oral health. To learn more about periodontal therapy and its treatment of gum disease, contact us at (941) 451-5849.