Identifying and Treating Gum Disease
If you have noticed your gum swelling at all, you may want to visit your dentist and check for gum disease. This is a common sign of mild gum disease, also known as gingivitis. At this stage, the disease is very simply treated. More attentive bushing in different areas of the mouth and regular flossing may be all it takes to reduce swelling and eliminate gingivitis. If mild gum disease is not treated, it can develop into a severe case, or periodontitis.
You can easily identify mild gum disease at home by looking for these signs:
• A receding gum line
• Loose teeth
• Sores in the mouth
• Constant bad breath, or halitosis
Pain is not usually a symptom of early gum disease, and you should not wait to feel pain to see a periodontist if you are noticing one or more of the above signs.
Periodontitis develops when infection and inflammation spread deeper into the tissues that support the teeth. Signs of severe gum disease include:
• Gum tissue pulling away from the teeth
• Periodontal pockets begin to form
• Bleeding when brushing and flossing
The first method of treatment for periodontitis is usually a deep cleaning, also called a scaling and root planing. The first part of the procedure, scaling, eliminates the plaque and tartar from just above and at the gum line with a sharp tool. The second half, root planing, cleans and smooths the root surfaces between the gum tissue and the teeth. Other treatments include gum flap surgery, as well as bone and tissue grafting.
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