If your gums are swollen, sensitive to touch, or bleed when brushing your teeth, you may have gum (or periodontal) disease. Gum disease is among the most common oral health issues and should never be ignored. If not diagnosed and treated early, the condition can cause infections and other medical conditions that could spread from the mouth and affect other body parts. No one is immune to gum disease, including those who brush their teeth and floss regularly, although they are less likely to suffer from this condition. Gum disease is usually divided into 2 categories:
The first stage is to have the condition diagnosed by a dentist. In some cases, the condition may develop slowly, and there may be no tangible symptoms in the early stages. Regular dental check-ups, including checking the gums, will enable a dentist to spot the signs of gum disease before the patient notices any symptoms. Gum disease that is caught early typically responds to treatment quickly, and recovery can be rapid. The later the condition is diagnosed, the greater the chances of teeth loss and the longer the recovery period.
The nature of the treatment depends on the extent of the problem. In many cases, decay removal and the removal of plaque and tartar (including from the hard-to-reach corners of the mouth) will stop the disease from spreading and enable the body to heal independently. In more advanced cases, gum disease treatment may require minor procedures to be done to remove any infections, and it may be possible to rebuild the bone surrounding the teeth that fell out. In severe cases, if decay removal is ineffective, the affected teeth that are still in place may have to be removed. If teeth are lost or have to be removed, there are options like dental implants that can bring back a patient's smile.
There is no such thing as acquired immunity from gum disease. If the symptoms return in the future, another course of treatment will be required. As with all medical problems, prevention is always better than cure.
Leading San Jose dental specialists offer the following advice for the prevention of gum disease:
Remember, gum disease can develop very slowly; the symptoms often do not become apparent until the condition is advanced. The earlier the problem is diagnosed, and treatment rendered, the faster the recovery and lower the possibilities of teeth loss and other complications. Regular check-ups/examinations by your family dentist will keep you safe from gum disease and other dental problems. Call us at 408-725-1536 to schedule an appointment.