Don’t Become a Victim of Gum Disease
Gum disease is a chronic inflammation and infection of gums and structural tissues surrounding teeth. Periodontal disease encompasses both gingivitis, an early and reversible inflammatory state of the gums, and periodontitis, a deeper infection that can require more invasive treatments like antibiotic therapy and gum surgery. Factors that encourage gum inflammation include inadequate oral hygiene, poor nutrition, pregnancy, hormonal changes, uncontrolled diabetes, cancer treatments, lifestyle factors like smoking and tobacco use, and AIDS or other diseases affecting the immune system. Early signs and symptoms may or may not be present.
Plaque is an invisible, sticky, bacteria-laden film that forms on teeth and causes gum disease. If it isn’t removed daily by brushing, it hardens into calculus or tartar. Toxins produced by the accumulation of plaque and tartar irritate gum tissues. As a result, deep pockets form between the teeth and gums, which get filled with more bacteria and debris, and accelerate the disease process. Tissue destruction progresses until teeth become loose and fall out or require extraction. Sometimes there are no symptoms at all of gum disease, but following are the most common signs:
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Gums that bleed easily
- Pus visible between teeth and gums
- Gums pulling away from teeth
- Loose teeth
- Changes in bite
- Changes in the fit of dentures
- Chronic bad breath
For early periodontal disease, a special cleaning process known as scaling and root planing can help resolve symptoms. Antibiotics and medicated rinses are prescribed to treat advanced infection. Severe cases may require surgery to reposition gum tissues, remove hardened plaque and re-contour damaged bone. General dentists in South Bend may refer severe cases to specialists called periodontists. Twice-daily brushing, daily flossing, and routine professional cleaning can help prevent the disease. See your dentist or hygienist regularly for deep cleaning procedures and comprehensive exams.
After periodontal therapy, it is essential to maintain strict oral hygiene practices to keep gums healthy. Use products and techniques recommended by your dentist, and schedule an appointment if your gum symptoms become worse or new one appear.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in South Bend, call The Dental Center of South Bend today at (574) 367-7000 or make an appointment.
The Dental Center offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in South Bend. With 4 affiliated practices throughout Indiana, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At The Dental Center of South Bend, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at The Dental Center of South Bend.