Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a painful condition that can lead to tooth loss and can impact your overall health. Located in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn, New York, the experienced dental team at Cosmetic Dentistry Center can help you prevent gum disease with regular cleanings and checkups, or provide effective treatment if you already have the disease. If you want to learn more, schedule a consultation online or call the office today.
Gum disease, or periodontitis, is an infection that causes damage to your gums. Advanced gum disease can destroy your jawbone, and cause your teeth to become loose, or even fall out.
When your gums are healthy, they feel firm, fit tightly around your teeth, and are light pink in color. If you have gum disease, you may notice that your gums look red or purple, and that there’s space between your teeth and the surrounding gum tissue.
Other signs of periodontitis include:
You may also notice that the alignment of your bite has changed, or that chewing or biting down feels painful.
Gum disease is most often caused by poor oral hygiene, which allows bacteria to thrive inside your mouth, eventually forming a sticky substance called plaque on your teeth. Over time, plaque becomes tartar, a hard substance that forms beneath the gum line, causing your gums to become infected.
In the early stages, a gum infection is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is easy to reverse with a professional cleaning, followed by improved at-home oral hygiene. If the infection progresses to full periodontal disease, a more dramatic treatment approach is required.
Additional factors can increase your risk of developing gum disease. These include:
Hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy or menopause, can also contribute to periodontal disease.
The good news is that most cases of gum disease can be reversed by deeply cleaning your gums and teeth, and improving your at-home brushing and flossing habits.
There are two types of deep cleaning: scaling, which removes tartar from the surface of your tooth, and root planing, which smooths the texture of your tooth root, so bacteria won’t lodge in rough areas.
Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to clear up any remaining signs of infection. If you have severe periodontitis, oral surgery may be necessary.
A deep cleaning may sound intense, but it’s better than the agony of infected gums, or the difficulty that comes with loose or missing teeth. If you’re concerned about gum disease, call Cosmetic Dentistry Center to schedule an exam today, or book an appointment online.