Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection that attacks the bone and gums that hold your teeth in place. The infection occurs when bacteria build up on your teeth. In its early stages, your gums may become red and sore, and you may notice that they bleed easily when you brush and floss. At this point, we refer to the disease as gingivitis. The good news is that, with treatment from your dentist and good oral hygiene practices, gingivitis can be reversed.
What Happens If You Don't Treat Gum Disease?
If we do not treat gingivitis, it will progress into periodontitis, where plaque and tartar build up below the gum line. Periodontitis will cause bone loss around your teeth, and you may notice that your teeth feel like they’re becoming loose. Without prompt treatment, this will eventually lead to tooth loss.
Periodontitis treatment usually involves a deep cleaning (scaling and root planing), where our hygienist cleans the areas underneath the gums. In very severe cases, we may refer you to a periodontist, a specialist who is trained to deal with problems associated with the bone and gums.
Prevention Is Key
One of the problems with gum disease is that many people have it but show no symptoms. That’s why preventive exams and cleanings are so crucial. If it’s time for your next professional cleaning, please give us a call. We’ll work together to make sure your mouth is healthy and free of disease.