The CDC reports that almost half of adults in the United States have a form of gum disease, also known as periodontitis or periodontal disease. For adults over 65, this number increases to 70%. This rampant disease is largely preventable, yet the subtle signs and symptoms in the early stages leave many patients unaware that…
When Is Gum Disease Treatment Necessary?
Gum disease is a serious condition that can result in a need for periodontal treatment. Treatment is needed in order to destroy the infection and prevent it from getting worse. Oftentimes, without treatment, a case of gum disease can become advanced, which can result in tooth loss, receding gums, and even jaw deterioration, all of which can be detrimental and irreversible.
Because of how serious gum disease is, it is important to be on the lookout for any signs that may indicate a need for general dentistry treatment. Keep reading to find out when periodontal treatment is necessary.
Indicators that periodontal treatment is needed
Outlined below are a few warning signs of gum disease. These should never go ignored and oftentimes require immediate periodontal treatment.
Red or white gums
When an individual notices that their gums have red or white areas or patches on them, periodontal treatment is likely needed. Gum disease often shows itself in the form of atypical gum colors, which is why it is important to carefully inspect the gums regularly. Soft tissues that are not pink are a cause of concern and should be looked at by a general dentist right away.
Inflammation or swelling
When the gums are swollen or inflamed then it also likely means that periodontal treatment is needed. The gums should never appear to be bulging or puffy, as this indicates a serious stage of gum disease. Until a general dentistry evaluation can be done, taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication can be helpful in reducing the symptoms.
From time to time, the gums may bleed when brushing or flossing, which is actually normal. However, what is not normal is when the gums bleed excessively. Individuals who suffer from gum disease will likely experience bleeding gums every time they brush or floss and sometimes when eating too. In severe cases of gum disease, there might even be bleeding when no activity is taking place at all. This indicates a serious case of gum disease. Periodontal treatment should be sought if there are any signs of abnormal bleeding.
Later stages of gum disease often cause pain in the gums because the infection has made its way to the nerves. Sore gums or sharp pains in the soft tissues should not be ignored, as both indicate a need for periodontal treatment from a dentist. Over-the-counter pain medication can be taken to remedy the discomfort until a dentist can start treatment.
Other things to note
Treatment for gum disease is needed in order to maintain good oral health. Additionally, those who are preparing to undergo an intense dentistry procedure may need to have their gum disease tackled first. Examples include dental implant placement or a smile makeover. Dentists will require a 100% healthy mouth prior to starting the process, which is why any signs of gum disease should be immediately taken to a general dentist.
The gums play a vital role in the entire oral cavity as they keep the teeth held in proper position and protect the bone. Because of their importance, it is crucial to maintain good gum health. There are a few ways to do this, thus reducing the chances that gum disease ever develops.
How to maintain good gum health:
- Brush the teeth and along the gum line at least twice a day or after every meal
- Floss once a day carefully and gently
- Use different pieces of floss for the top and bottom arch of teeth. This reduces the chances of transmitting bacteria
- Rinse with salt water or a non-alcoholic mouthwash to rid the oral cavity of bacteria
- Visit the dentist at least twice a year or every six months
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use
- Eat a diet consisting of healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables
These recommendations can go a long way in avoiding gum disease as a whole.
Get started with gum disease treatment
The warning signs listed above indicate a need for periodontal treatment. However, there are also times in which gum disease is present but there may not be any indicators, which is why it is important to regularly see a dentist for check-ups. Dentists are trained to catch warning signs that may not be as obvious to the naked eye. Undergoing routine cleanings and examinations can help avoid gum disease and allow an individual to start treatment sooner rather than later. Reach out today to learn more or to get started with a consultation.
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