Do you know the signs of periodontal (gum) disease? If you don’t, you should learn to recognize them because gum disease is the biggest cause of tooth loss among adults in the US, states the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. The dentists at Martins Dental Partners – Dr. Valerie Martins, a Board Certified Periodontist, Dr. Sukhpreet Heer and Dr. Suzanne Fisher – make it their priority to keep your gums and teeth healthy. Read here about the signs of periodontal disease, treatment options and what you can do to protect yourself from this oral health threat.
Signs of gum disease
Through poor dental hygiene practices, bacteria-filled plaque and hard tartar accumulate around teeth and under gum tissue, Gradually, symptoms develop, and when combined with poor overall health or a hereditary tendency towards gum disease, gum problems can progress quickly. Gingivitis is the mildest form. Periodontitis is more aggressive and destructive.
Signs you should not ignore include:
- Streaks of blood in the bathroom sink when you floss and brush
- Bad breath that does not resolve with routine oral hygiene or mouthwash
- Sore, red, swollen gums
- Dental sensitivity
- Pus around the gum line
- Exposed tooth roots
- Gum recession
- Tooth mobility
If you notice these things happening in your mouth, contact your dentist in Beverly right away. Martins Dental Partners offers several ways to return your gums to good health.
Treatment of gum disease
The most conservative and least invasive treatment for gum disease is a thorough deep cleaning. The dental hygienist at Martins Dental Partners uses manual and ultrasonic instruments to get between teeth and under the gums to remove plaque and tartar and to smooth root surfaces so gums reattach.
Routine periodontal maintenance–cleaning at more frequent intervals and charting of periodontal pockets–helps keep gums healthy.
Preventing gum problems
Brushing twice a day and flossing daily does more than preventing cavities. They are effective strategies to keep gums pink and bacteria-free. Additionally, the American Dental Association recommends:
- A low-carbohydrate diet
- Plenty of fruits and vegetables daily
- Increasing your intake of water to hydrate and stimulate saliva
- Getting semi-annual cleanings and check-ups with your dentist