Do You Have Gum Disease?

October 20, 2014

469666295If you have tender, swollen or bleeding gums, you may have gum disease. Gum disease begins with the overgrowth and buildup of bacteria and plaque along the gum line. This buildup leads to inflammation which causes the soreness and bleeding. At this stage, the minor symptoms of gum disease can be treated and reversed. If gingivitis goes untreated, it may develop into periodontal disease. It’s at this stage that tooth loss occurs. If you suspect that you may have gum disease, make an appointment to see Dr. Gerber immediately at his Tyler, TX dental office. It’s important to begin treatment as early as possible to prevent tooth loss. Dr. Gerber proudly serves patients throughout Tyler, TX, Whitehouse, Flint, Bullard, Lindale and surrounding communities.

Causes and Symptoms of Gum Disease

While plaque and bacteria accumulation is the primary cause of gum disease, other factors can contribute to the condition. These factors include hormonal changes from pregnancy; pre-existing  illnesses such as Cancer, HIV or Diabetes; medications that cause dry mouth; smoking; poor oral hygiene and family history of periodontal disease. Gingivitis does not necessarily progress to periodontitis.  At this stage the gums are inflamed, irritated and bleeding, but teeth are still firmly planted in the jawbone. Tooth loss can be prevented if gum disease is treated at this stage. If it advances to periodontal disease, the inner layer of gum and bone will pull away from the teeth to form pockets. These pockets collect debris and become infected. The body’s immune system will then fight the bacteria gathered here. The toxins produced by the bacteria will begin to dissolve the bone and connective tissue around the teeth. When this happens teeth become loose and fall out.

Common symptoms of advanced gum disease include:

  • Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums
  • Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, or in the fit of partial dentures

 

 

Gum Disease Treatment in Tyler, TX

Non-surgical treatment of gingivitis starts with a professional dental cleaning. If needed, the dentist can also provide scaling and root planing where plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line are scraped away (scaling) and rough spots on the tooth root are made smooth (root planing). If more significant damage is present, there may be a need for periodontal surgery including flap surgery or pocket reduction surgery, bone grafts, soft tissue grafts, guided tissue regeneration and jaw bone surgery. The earlier gum disease is diagnosed and treated, the less likely these more intrusive measures will be needed to repair bone and tissue damage. You can save the time and expense of periodontal surgery by making an appointment to see Dr. Gerber at Gentle Dental Care today. Dr. Gerber offers periodontal treatment as well as preventative treatment. Gentle Dental Care proudly serves patients in Tyler, TX, Whitehouse, Flint, Bullard, Lindale and surrounding areas.

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