When you visit our Tempe dentist for an exam, you quickly discover that we are always on alert for the signs of gum disease.
Currently, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for adults, which means that we must be proactive about its prevention and treatment.
Yet, you can also rest assured that most people never deal with the worst effects of gum disease if it is properly taken care of in the early stages.
Our dental clinic offers several services that can help you identify early gum disease and get treatment that restores gum health.
Discuss Your Risk Factors
Gum disease is an infection of the soft tissues of your mouth that surround your teeth. Anything that affects blood flow to the gums or your body’s ability to fight off harmful bacteria could place you at a higher risk for developing this condition.
These risk factors should always be mentioned to us during your appointment so that we can help you minimize the impact that they have on the health of your gums.
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Low immune system
- Use of tobacco products
- Taking certain types of birth control
- Having failing or uneven dental restorations
- Poor oral hygiene
Identify the Types of Gum Disease
Gum disease is typically a progressive condition that could be one of several types. The most common type of gum disease is gingivitis. This is the earliest and most treatable type of gingivitis since it is characterized by inflammation of the gums without any damage to the underlying bone in the jaw.
Periodontitis is another form of gum disease that is broken down into different types and stages. The most common type happens when gingivitis progresses to a chronic stage. At this point, your gums develop deep pockets that trap bacteria and food debris. If this is allowed to continue, then the infection can break down jawbone and cause your teeth to loosen.
Watch for Signs of Poor Gum Health
You can play a big role in helping to prevent the development of gingivitis in your mouth by watching for the early signs. Gum disease typically causes some or all of the following symptoms.
- Bright red or slightly purplish gums
- Swollen gum tissue
- Shifting or loose teeth
- Foul taste in the mouth
Receive a Comprehensive Dental Exam
Always mention any unusual symptoms that you notice when you brush or floss your teeth. We also check for the presence of gum disease during every dental exam, and we may use several or all of the following tools to make a diagnosis.
- Visual exam of the gums and teeth
- Periodontal probing
- Dental x-rays
Get Treatment for Every Stage of Gum Disease
Early gingivitis is easily treated with a combination of increased focus on performing proper oral hygiene and regular cleanings. In some cases, we may have you come in more often for a cleaning, or we may suggest a deeper cleaning that involves scaling and root planing.
This allows us to clean lower beneath the gum line to clear out the pockets. We may also use antibiotic treatments to further reduce the bacterial populations in your mouth.
We prefer to catch gum disease early when it is diagnosable as gingivitis, but there is also treatment available for every stage. Since untreated gum disease only tends to worsen with time, it is critical to start a management and treatment plan to get it under control today.