Gum disease: whether you live in Toms River or elsewhere, the very words are frightening. But knowledge is power, so learning about what gum disease is, and what can be done about it, can ease the fear.
In its mildest form, gum disease is called gingivitis. Only the gums are infected. Left untreated, gingivitis can become a more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis. This advanced form gets below the gum line and into the bone.
One of the most worrisome things about gum disease is that it can be painless. Therefore, knowing the symptoms is important:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Swollen, red, or sensitive gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Changes in your bite
- Changes in the fit of partial dentures
- Increased sensitivity to hot and cold
- Sharp pain while chewing
- Visible pus around the teeth and gums
Both gingivitis and periodontitis can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, pneumonia, and cancer. Early detection is important.
If one of the dentists at Rotem Dental Care diagnoses gum disease, the first step in treatment is a deep cleaning. Deep cleaning goes beneath the gum line. There are a couple of phases to deep cleaning that will probably take more than one appointment.
The patient may also be prescribed antiseptic chips or antibiotic microspheres, which are inserted into the gum and gradually release medication. Additional treatments include antibiotic gel, enzyme suppressant, and oral antibiotics.
We may also suggest antimicrobial mouthwashes, which are available both over-the-counter, and by prescription.
If deep cleaning doesn’t clear up the problem, oral surgery may be required. These treatments include gum grafting and flap surgery.
The bottom line? Take gum disease seriously! If you notice any of the symptoms described above, call the office of Rotem Dental Care and set up an appointment as soon as possible.