Dental plaque is the soft, sticky film that coats your teeth and feeds on sugar and other carbohydrates in your mouth. When you eat, plaque combines with bacteria and enzymes to form harmful acids that can erode your tooth enamel and cause cavities. Plaque also irritates your gums, causing inflammation that can lead to gum disease. Gum disease is one of the most common infections in the world.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. It occurs when bacteria form pockets along the gum line, allowing debris to build up and infect the gums. You’ll probably experience bleeding around your smile when you brush or floss your teeth. You may also notice your gums becoming more red than pink. Your gums may also start to pull away from your teeth, exposing portions of your root structure and leading to sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.
If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. Your infected gum tissue will deteriorate further, damaging the bone that supports your teeth and making them loose until they fall out altogether. The risk of tooth loss is heightened when periodontitis advances to this level. Visit HD Smile Dental to learn more about periodontal treatments.
The Causes of Periodontal Disease
Gum disease is most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene, but other factors can play a role too. Certain medications and health problems can decrease the body’s ability to fight infection, leaving your gums more vulnerable to your mouth’s bacteria. Here are a few common culprits of gum problems:
- Diabetes or other health conditions
- Medications such as antidepressants or blood thinners
- Tobacco use
- The Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing teeth
- Pus between the teeth and gums
- Loosening of the teeth
- Receding gum line
- Teeth becoming loose or moving
- New spaces between your teeth
- Sensitive teeth
Treatment of Periodontal Disease
If your dentist determines you have gum disease, they will likely recommend non-surgical treatment before recommending surgery. Non-surgical treatments include deep cleanings and scaling, and root planing. These will clean the pocket between the teeth and gums and prevent bacteria from building up and causing the infection to come back. Antibiotics will sometimes be used to help fight off the infection. In severe cases, surgical procedures may be recommended. This can include gum flap surgery or bone/tissue grafting. Surgical procedures are used when non-surgical methods do not work or are ineffective. Dental implants are also available in extreme cases to replace lost teeth and restore a full smile.
It’s essential to visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings so that any oral health issues can be caught early before they can progress. For the best dental care, visit HD Smile Dental, at 1680 Vine St #200, Hollywood, CA 90028, or call (323) 464-2033.