Have you noticed bleeding gums when you brush your teeth or bite into hard food? Gums that are red and bleed easily are common gum disease symptoms and should never be ignored.
If you’re suffering from these symptoms then you most likely have gingivitis – a mild form of gum disease. At this stage, it’s only your gums that are infected but without treatment, the condition will worsen and the infection can travel below the gum line and into your jaw bone. When this occurs, it becomes a more severe condition known as periodontal disease.
Both gum disease and periodontal disease have been linked with an array of serious medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis which is why early detection and treatment is so important. Fortunately, it is possible to detect and treat gum disease if you know what to look for.
Gum Disease Symptoms
Red swollen gums are a typical warning sign that you have gum disease which usually starts with inflammation along the gum line. Your gums may also feel tender, sore, and prone to bleed when your brush or floss your teeth. Other gum disease symptoms to be aware of include:
Because the mouth is warm and moist, it offers the perfect environment for millions of bacteria. They feed on the plaque, so the more plaque is present in your mouth, the bigger their feast. Toxins are released from bacteria and these can irritate the gums and teeth and smell pretty nasty. This is why maintaining good oral health with effective brushing and flossing to remove plaque is so important.
Teeth look longer
If your teeth start to look longer it’s not because they have grown but rather that your gums have shrunk. When bone starts to break down due to infection, it begins to recede from the gums revealing more of the lower portion of the teeth and causing spaces or pockets to form in which bacteria can accumulate.
If biting into something cold such as ice-cream makes you wince then it could be your teeth trying to tell you that something isn’t right. Sensitive teeth go hand in hand with gum disease and receding gums.
Loose or shifting teeth
Has your smile taken on a different appearance lately? Periodontal disease can attack the bone that holds your teeth in place causing them to loosen or move. This action can also affect the way that your teeth come together when you close your mouth.
So now you’re aware of gum disease symptoms to look out for, what is the treatment?
Gum Disease Treatment
The sooner you or your dentist spots the signs of gum disease, the easier it is to treat. The objective of gum disease treatment is to control the infection and your dentist will look at the best forms of treatment for your case.
Gum disease is often caused by poor oral health but fortunately, in most cases, mild gingivitis can be turned around by a dental clean combined with improved brushing and flossing at home.
In more severe cases, there are other treatments your dentist can provide. These include:
This is usually the first call of attack for patients suffering from gum disease. During a deep clean your dentist will scrape away any tartar from above and below the gum line. He may also carry out root planing to smooth out the rough surfaces and help the gums to reattach to the teeth. This may take a couple of dental visits.
Other options include oral antibiotics for more serious cases and also surgical treatments including:
This involves removing gum tissue from another area of the mouth such as the palate and placing it over exposed tooth roots to help sensitive teeth and prevent decay and bone loss.
Gum pocket reduction
During this procedure, the gums are pulled back to remove any decaying tissue and deep deposits of tartar. They are then reattached tightly around the teeth to prevent further plaque and tartar from forming.
Do you have gum disease symptoms?
If you are overdue for a dental check-up or you suspect you may have the symptoms of gum disease, then don’t delay. Often the symptoms of gum disease cause no pain which is why regular visits to your dentist for gum health assessment are vital.
Don’t put off visiting the dentist any longer. Instead, book an appointment with the friendly experienced team at Randwick Smiles by calling us at (02) 9398 9398. We can treat the symptoms, show you how to brush and floss properly, and get your oral health back on track.