Many adults in the U.S. currently have some form of gum disease, so rest assured that you are not alone! Our mouths are full of bacteria (the good kind) to begin, but bacteria, along with other things like food particles and mucus, are constantly forming plaque on your teeth. Daily brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque, but any that is not removed can harden and form tartar that regular brushing just does not get rid of. This tartar and plaque buildup is typically the biggest cause of gum disease.
Periodontal diseases can range from simple gum inflammation to a more serious disease that causes major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth.
Contact Comprehensive Dental Health, LLC at 203-624-5515 to speak with one of our staff about gum disease treatment and prevention!
What are some symptoms of gum disease?
Some common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Loose or sensitive teeth
- Receding gum lines (resulting in longer-looking teeth)
- Persistent bad breath
What are the stages of gum disease?
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and is caused by plaque buildup at the gum line. If daily oral care like brushing and flossing do not remove enough of the plaque, the plaque produces toxins that can irritate your gum tissue, causing gingivitis. You may notice some bleeding during brushing and flossing because your gums are extra sensitive. If you catch the gingivitis early enough (which is why routine dental checkups are so important!), any damage to your teeth and gums can usually be reversed.
If gingivitis is not treated, it can worsen to periodontitis. Periodontitis literally means “inflammation around the tooth” and happens when gingivitis (a mild form of gum disease caused by plaque buildup) is not treated properly. If you have periodontitis, your gums pull away from youth teeth, forming spaces (called pockets) that become infected. A combination of bacterial toxins getting into these pockets and your body’s natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold youth teeth in place. If not treated properly, the bones, gums, and tissue that support your teeth are destroyed and your teeth may eventually have to be removed.
Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of gum disease that occurs when the fibers and bone supporting your teeth are completely destroyed. If aggressive treatment cannot save them, then your teeth may need to be removed and replaced with dentures.
What are my periodontitis treatment options?
Good oral hygiene will help keep plaque from building up, which goes a long way in preventing the early stages of gum disease.
A professional cleaning by one of the Comprehensive Dental Health, LLC hygienists is the only way to remove plaque from your teeth that has built up and hardened into tartar. A member of our hygiene team will clean your teeth to remove the tartar above and below the gum line.
If you have more advanced gum disease, our dentist might consider a root planing procedure in addition to your routine cleanings as a viable treatment option. Root planing helps to smooth irregularities on the roots of your teeth, making it more difficult for plaque to build up. Some patients require referral to periodontal specialists for further treatment.
You can contact Dr. Joseph Tagliarini at Comprehensive Dental Health, LLC to learn more about treatment for gum disease in New Haven, Connecticut.