About Gum Disease
Many patients who visit our Bedford, TX dentist office fall within a spectrum of periodontal disease, ranging from an inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) to a chronic disease of the gums and bone (periodontitis).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that half of Americans aged 30 or older have periodontitis, the more advanced form of gum disease. A majority of these patients will experience few obvious signs of gum disease. For this reason, regular visits to the dentist are critical to preventing and managing gum disease.
Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:
- Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
- Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
- New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
- Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
- Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present.
- Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth.
- Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
- Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.
Gum Disease Treatment
In our Bedford, TX dentist office, we offer several treatment options for periodontal disease. If you have early signs of gum disease, the dentist may recommend frequent dental cleanings to restore your gums to optimal health.
If more intensive treatment is needed, we may recommend a deep teeth cleaning known as scaling and root planning. During this procedure, the dentist will remove plaque and tartar from the deep pockets of the gum.
Patients who have advanced signs of gum disease may require more intense treatment or surgery. The dentist may refer you to a local periodontist for treatment.
Gum Disease FAQs
What Causes Gum Disease?
Plaque is constantly forming in the mouth. If it is not removed daily by brushing and flossing, it can harden into tartar. Bacteria thrives in this environment and over time, it can develop into gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease.
Gingivitis can progress into an infection, destroy gum tissue and eventually degrade bone to the point that teeth can become loose or missing.
What can be done to prevent gum disease?
The best way to fight gum disease is prevention. We encourage our patients to brush twice a day and floss at least once a day. Regular visits to our Bedford, TX dentist office will also help reduce your risk for developing gum disease.
Another important step to preventing gum disease is having a healthy diet. This means limiting sodas, sweets and snacks between meals. Drinking water will also help reduce bacteria in the mouth.