Patients with gum disease often do not think much about their symptoms and find it easy to ignore. You may not notice the symptoms, but it can destroy your teeth’s support structure as the disease advances. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss for adults, and the sooner you get treatment, the easier it is to care for. Dr. Saleem and our team in Carrollton, TX, can treat gum disease and protect your oral health before it is too late.
Gum disease presents in several stages. As bacteria feed in your mouth, they form plaque that can stick to your teeth. Brushing and flossing should disrupt plaque, but if you are not thorough or consistent with your oral care, the plaque builds up, causing inflammation in your gums as the bacteria release toxins. This initial stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, is characterized by swollen and red gums, and you may notice bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth. Patients with gingivitis typically have bad breath.
As the inflammation gets worse, your gums will pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that trap plaque and tartar. The bacteria will infect deeper into your mouth and destroy the soft tissues holding your teeth in place, causing loose teeth, pain, and sensitivity. At this stage, known as periodontal disease, the damage is irreversible. Left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss.
Treatment begins with a thorough cleaning. Plaque and tartar need to be removed from your teeth and scaled from beneath your gum line. This can be a little uncomfortable, especially if you have sensitive gums, and you may need a local anesthetic. Root planing will smooth out your gums and encourage them to reattach to your teeth. This process may take a few visits to complete. Advanced gum disease often requires removing damaged gum tissue, and in some cases, you may need surgery or a graft to restore your gums.
Dr. Saleem will educate you on lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk of gum disease. This includes stopping all tobacco products, drinking less alcohol, better oral hygiene, and improved nutrition. No matter how well you take care of yourself at home, you will also need to come in twice a year for routine dental cleanings. Contact our office in Carrollton, TX, at (972) 388-3320 today to learn more about gum disease treatment.