Did you know that bleeding gums are one of the first signs of gum disease? This condition affects an estimated 65 million adults in the U.S. and is the leading cause of tooth loss. And, unfortunately, that’s not the only consequence: It’s also been found to increase the risk of diabetes, stroke, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and even some cancers. Since February is Gum Disease Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time to learn more about the signs and symptoms for this condition, and what kind of gum disease therapy in Inwood Village is available. Learn more below!
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
You typically won’t feel any pain or discomfort from gum disease until later stages, but there are still early signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for:
- Gingivitis – This is the first stage and can show up as bleeding after brushing and flossing or swollen, tender gums. Gingivitis is usually reversible with regular checkups and good oral hygiene habits.
- Periodontitis – If gingivitis isn’t caught and treated early enough, it can lead to moderate or severe gum disease (referred to as periodontitis). Symptoms include chronic bad breath, receding gums, and loose teeth, or it might feel painful to chew.
Although advanced gum disease can’t be cured – it can be managed to prevent tooth loss and keep it from progressing.
How Is Gum Disease Diagnosed?
Finding out if you have gum disease is easier than you might think – simply schedule a checkup! Annual gum evaluations are included in these visits so that gum disease can be found early and treated as soon as possible.
What Are Your Gum Therapy Options?
Thankfully, there are many effective types of periodontal therapy in Inwood Village:
- Scaling and root planing – Also called a “deep cleaning,” this is usually the first recommended procedure and is usually done in 2-4 appointments. First, you’re numbed for comfort, then a hygienist thoroughly removes the tartar and bacteria from under the gumline. Finally, the roots of your teeth are smoothed to prevent bacteria from re-accumulating.
- Antibiotic therapy – Typically done right after a deep cleaning, this involves placing a topical antibiotic gel directly under the gums to target and kill any remaining bacteria that contribute to gum disease.
- Oral DNA testing – With a simple swab from the inside of your cheek, this test tells us what kind of bacteria are in your mouth. With that information, we can diagnose gum issues earlier and treat them more effectively.
- Soft-tissue laser – This laser treatment is fantastic because it safely and comfortably removes unhealthy tissues, accelerates healing, and even encourages healthy new tissue to grow. That’s a win-win!
Modern dentistry means that gum therapy is easier and more effective than ever before. With early intervention and the right care, you can have healthy gums for life!