Do I have gum disease?
It is easy to have the early symptoms of gum disease and be unaware of it. Gum disease is frequently painless. Some symptoms you may see include:
|•||Your gums bleed easily when brushing or flossing|
|•||Your gums are swollen, red or tender|
|•||You have noticed that your teeth appear longer because your gums have pulled away from the teeth|
|•||Notably having a persistent bad taste or bad breath issues|
|•||A feeling of permanent teeth seeming loose or shifting|
|•||A noted change in your bite or the way your teeth fit together|
|•||Changes in how your dental appliances, dentures or bridges fit|
How did I get gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by plaque. Plaque is a naturally created film that is made up of saliva mixed with food debris, including sugar, and this mixture creates a haven for bacteria. As plaque rests on the bottom rim of your teeth, this bacteria rages. Brushing twice a day removes plaque and helps protect your teeth. If left, with time, plaque hardens and becomes what is known as calculus. Calculus is difficult to remove and should be done by a hygienist. Bacteria left on the teeth will dip between the teeth and gums and cause your gums to become infected.
There are many known factors that can increase your risk of developing gum disease, this includes smoking, pregnancy, and diabetes. It is important to visit Alder Dental if you suspect you have gum disease because the sooner you treat it the better.
What are the stages of gum disease?
The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis.With gingivitis, your gums may seem irritated, they will be red, swollen and bleed easily. Many of our patients think that it is normal to bleed when flossing or brushing, this is not true. At this stage, the disease is reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office, followed by daily brushing and flossing.
As gum disease advances, this is called periodontitis.Your body will not heal periodonititis by itself. It is not in your best interest to ignore this issue. Chronic periodontitis will evolve to damaging effects, including the loss of the tissues and bone that support your teeth. Left untreated, periodontitis will continue to become more severe with time. Patients with advanced periodonititis will begin to feel their teeth become loose and shift around in your mouth.
Having aggressive periodontitis is highly destructive to your dental health, and it can occur in patients who may be otherwise healthy. Common features include tooth loss, the rapid loss of tissue and bone resulting in the need of partial or full dentures.
How do I recover from gum disease?
The best care for gum disease starts at home. Brushing and flossing twice a day is the most important way you can slow down the progress of gum disease. It is also necessary to schedule regular dental cleaning and exams. Our dental hygienist will perform a dental cleaning to remove plaque from the surface of your teeth and any calculus that has formed. If necessary, she may recommend a deep cleaning, which is a more involved cleaning that goes below the gum line through a process called scaling and root planing. If Dr. Alder finds it necessary, an anti-bacterial rinse may be prescribed.
For more information on gum disease and how we can help strengthen the tissues that support your teeth, contact Brian Alder, DDS, at our Vancouver, WA office. (360) 831-0831