Swollen, red gums can be a sign of impending gum disease and should never be ignored or thought of as just a temporary reaction to over brushing or using a new brand of toothpaste or mouthwash, for instance. If you notice these symptoms see your dentist right away, don’t wait for your next scheduled appointment. The treatment for the early stage of gum disease known as gingivitis is relatively simple compared to the more invasive therapies that may become necessary if the disease is allowed to advance.
Periodontitis is nothing to take lightly, it can lead to the deterioration of the bone structure that is fundamental in supporting the teeth. With nothing to support them the teeth are in jeopardy. As the disease progresses patients will begin to see that their gum tissue is receding, creating a space that dentists refer to as “pockets.” These spaces are an open invitation for the bacterial plaque that encourages the progression of gum disease.
If your dentist confirms that you do have gingivitis he will recommend that you up your regimen for home dental care. You may not be brushing with a soft bristle toothbrush or you may not be brushing often enough. Don’t forget to floss – it’s easier than ever to do, ask your hygienist for tips. There are toothpastes and mouthwashes that are formulated especially for the prevention of gum disease. Look on the label of any dental product that you buy for the Seal of Approval from the ADA to be sure it has been tested and lives up to its claim.
Scaling and root planing is a procedure that is advised for patients with a more advanced stage of gum disease. It is done to remove the bacteria and smooth the surface of the tooth’s root so that it is less likely to retain future plaque. Your dentist will advise that you avoid sticky or acidic foods for a while after the procedure and that you continue with regular brushing and flossing.
Consult with Dr. Conway of Spokane Valley Dentistry if you suspect symptoms of the early onset of gum disease. Call today @ 509-926-6261.