Patients in Phoenix, AZ who notice gum recession may have periodontal disease and should seek treatment
Saying that somebody is “long in the tooth” may be a way of saying they are aging, but it is really referring to a condition called gum recession. This affliction during which the gums begin to pull away from the teeth revealing the lower portion and making them appear longer can happen to people of any age who have developed periodontal (gum) disease and have neglected treatment. This is just one sign that you may have advanced periodontal disease that needs treatment. The team at Life Smiles Dental Care in Phoenix, AZ encourages anybody who shows signs of gum disease to come in for examination and treatment.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease has a habit of being very sneaky as it progresses in severity. Many may not even know they have developed periodontal disease. This is because it produces very few obvious signs and often progresses with minimal pain or discomfort. While the symptoms of periodontal disease are subtle, the disease does not progress without warning signs as there are several symptoms that could point to the disease. Some symptoms include:
- Bleeding of the gums during and, in some cases, after normal tooth brushing
- Gums that are swollen, tender and red
- Bad breath that persists or a foul taste in the mouth
- Gums that are receding
- A formation of significant pockets between the teeth and gums
- Teeth that have begun to shift or loosen
- A change in your bite
Let us look at one of the above symptoms of gum disease in a bit more detail. Gum recession is one of the more visible symptoms of periodontal disease. In many cases, gum recession is caused by food particles and bacteria teaming with deposits of calculus and dental plaque to weaken gum tissue attachment. When this attachment weakens, the gums can begin to recede. If the gums recede enough, the root areas of the tooth will become exposed. Since the root section is normally covered by the gums, this exposure can cause long-term dental health problems. When you notice gum recession, the sooner you seek treatment, the better chance you have of regenerating lost gum tissue.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
With enough plaque control , nearly all gingivitis can be stopped before it progresses into full blown periodontal disease. In simplest terms, the best way to prevent the nightmare that is advanced periodontal disease is to get into your dentist regularly. We recommend twice a year in-office dental cleanings paired with daily dental hygiene. This includes proper brushing (at least twice daily), flossing and rinsing. Brushing will eliminate the plaque from the surface of teeth while flossing removes particles of food and plaque from in between teeth and from beneath the gum line.
Treating Periodontal Disease
In some cases, even with proper dental hygiene, people can still develop periodontal disease. In these cases, while the practices used for prevention are still important to keep up, it is now time to investigate treatment for the disease. There are several options available to dentists in treating periodontal disease, including:
- Ultrasonic Scaling and Root Planing: This is a non-surgical technique during which plaque and hardened tartar are gently removed from beneath the gum line. The root surfaces are smoothed to assist the gums in re-establishing a healthy seal. Scaling and root planing are used to reverse gingivitis or the early stages of gum disease
- Pocket Depth Reduction: When gum disease has reached an advanced stage, pockets will have developed between the gum tissue and teeth. With a pocket depth reduction, your dentist will retract gum tissue to remove bacteria, plaque and tartar. Any diseased tissue is removed, and incisions sutured for quick healing.
- Bone Grafting: A bone graft may be required to promote bone regrowth when periodontal disease has shrunk bone mass.
Other potential treatments include guided bone and tissue regeneration and a soft tissue graft.
If you are suffering from gum disease and have are seeking treatment, please reach out to Life Smiles Dental Care in Phoenix, AZ today at (602) 786-5484.