Gum disease is a common oral health condition caused by the buildup of too much plaque bacteria in the oral cavity. If plaque is not removed, it eventually hardens into a rough coating on the surface of the teeth known as tartar.
In its early stage, gum disease is known as gingivitis and affects only the gums. If left untreated, gum disease can progress into periodontitis and begin attacking the tissues, fibers, and bones holding the teeth in place.
Impression Dental, a family dentist and university dental clinic in Edmonton, provides all of our patients with gum disease diagnosis, gum disease treatment, and effective preventative care.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease, despite the fact that it can cause significant damage to your gums and other supporting facial structures, is generally a painless condition that can be difficult to detect until the later stages if you don't know what you are looking for early on. Early detection, however, is very important for effective treatment and reversal of gum disease.
Gum disease will usually first manifest as swollen gums which become tender and bleed when you brush and floss. As gum disease progresses into periodontitis, the gums may begin to appear as if they are pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look elongated. Eventually, the teeth may even shift and become loose, causing changes in how the top and bottom teeth fit together.
How Gum Disease Can Be Prevented
Because gum disease is caused by plaque bacteria, prevention is all about making sure that plaque is not given the chance to build up around the teeth and gums. The best way to prevent gum disease is to practice good oral care at home by regularly brushing and flossing. If you don't have the best brushing technique, then you may want to invest in an electric toothbrush, as electric toothbrushes have been shown to aid oral care by removing more plaque.
Visiting your Edmonton family dentist for regular cleanings, checkups, and oral care tips is also important, as is eating a balanced diet. Focus on increasing your intake of vegetables, decreasing your intake of carbohydrates, and on cutting out sugary foods and drinks as much as you can.
How Gum Disease Can Be Treated
Your university dentist at Edmonton's Impression Dental can provide you with effective treatment for any stage of gum disease. Gingivitis can usually be reversed by a professional cleaning, a scaling and root planning, and by practicing better oral hygiene. Antibiotics are also sometimes prescribed to aid treatment by fighting the infection.
For advanced periodontitis which does not respond to other treatments, our Edmonton family dentists also offer surgical options. Your comfort and safety is our priority and we always ensure that oral surgery is painless and as stress-free as possible.
If you are concerned that you may be on your way to developing gum disease, or that you already have, then don't wait to set up an appointment at Impression Dental's university dental clinic in Edmonton.