Most adult patients who visit our Annapolis dental office will 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).
With gum disease, it is common to experience no obvious signs or symptoms. For this reason, regular visits to the dentist are critical for preventing and managing gum disease.
Common signs of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen or sore gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Mouth sores or pus between gums and teeth
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Changes in the fit of dentures
Gum Disease Treatment
Our dentists offers several treatment options for periodontal disease. If you have early signs of gum disease, your dentist may recommend frequent dental cleanings to restore your gums to optimal health.
If more intensive treatment is needed, your dentist may perform a deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar from the deep pockets of the gum.
If you have advanced signs of gum disease, the dentist may recommend an intense treatment or surgery. In these cases, our dentists may work with a local periodontist to restore your gum health.
Gum Disease FAQs
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by bacteria that attack the gum tissue and eventually the bone. The bacteria thrive in plaque, which forms constantly in the mouth. Overtime, plaque accumulates and hardens into tartar which can push down into the pockets of the gum and cause irritation and inflammation.
Gingivitis (inflammation) is the first stage, but it can quickly progress into an infection, destroy gum tissue and eventually degrade bone to the point that teeth can become loose or missing.
How can I prevent gum disease?
Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day are great ways to prevent gum disease. In addition, you should visit your dentist at least every six months for a professional tooth cleaning which will help remove plaque build up before it hardens into tartar.
Another important step in the prevention of 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. Smoking increases the risk of gum disease.