Gum Disease in Elk Grove, CA
What Is it?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection that affects the gums that surround and support your teeth. It’s the number one cause of tooth loss for adults.
Since the symptoms of gum disease develop gradually, most patients who have it don’t even realize they’re suffering from a devastating bacterial infection.
During all routine checkups at Wackford Dental, we’ll look for signs of periodontal disease. The sooner we discover this issue, the easier it is to treat.
What Causes Gum Disease?
The bacteria that cause gum disease live by consuming plaque and tartar. Brushing and flossing every day and visiting your dentist at Wackford Dental is the best way to protect your smile from gum disease.
Periodontal disease occurs in two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Gingivitis: This is the first stage of gum disease when your gums can become red, swollen, and easily irritated. This stage of the infection is often manageable through noninvasive treatment and effective daily home care that includes brushing and flossing.
- Periodontitis: When gingivitis is left untreated, your gum disease can continue to progress until it reaches the periodontitis stage. Symptoms of periodontitis include loose teeth, bad breath, teeth that “pull away” from gums, and pockets of infection that surround your teeth. Periodontitis typically results in the loss of teeth unless the patient seeks professional care.
Risk Factors & Symptoms of Gum Disease
Several factors can increase your likelihood of developing gum disease, including tobacco use and diabetes. Likewise, certain medications can contribute to the condition as well, particularly steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, and oral contraceptives. Beyond these risk factors, patients might be more susceptible to infection if:
- They have bridges that no longer fit
- They have misshapen or misaligned teeth
- They have old fillings
- They are pregnant
It’s important to know the symptoms of gum disease so you can identify it as early as possible:
- Gums that bleed after eating, brushing, or flossing
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Receding gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Pockets of infection develop at the base of your teeth
- Loose or separating teeth
- Changes in your bite pattern
- Teeth begin to fall out
Treating Gum Disease
We feature effective treatment for all stages of gum disease. Whenever possible, your Wackford Dental dentist will attempt non-surgical treatments first, such as at-home periodontal trays or deep cleaning (also called scaling and root planing).
In some cases, periodontal surgery or laser gum surgery is used to revitalize the soft tissue in your gums. If the damage from gum disease is too extensive, extracting the tooth and replacing it with a dental implant may be advisable.
Preventing Gum Disease
Routine office visits will significantly decrease your chance of developing periodontal disease. That’s why it’s vital to maintain your health by practicing good oral hygiene habits at home every day. To ensure your smile stays healthy for as long as possible, remember to clean your teeth (brushing and flossing regularly), eat a balanced diet, and visit your dentist at Wackford Dental for checkups at least twice a year.