Gum disease affects almost half of all Americans, and the number is significantly higher in seniors. Why do so many people experience periodontitis? Mainly because the early stages are generally mild and because preventing it entirely requires staying on top of oral hygiene, including visits to your Houston dentist. Fortunately, should periodontitis affect you, periodontitis treatment in Houston is very effective, especially in the early stages.
Knowing the Signs and Symptoms of Periodontitis
Because the early stages of gum disease are generally mild, it’s easy to miss them. Knowing what to look for will help you treat the disease early, giving the best chance of recovery. The main symptoms to watch for are:
- Swollen or Puffy Gums
- Discoloration of the Gums
- Tenderness in Gums
- Bleeding from the Gum Line
- Persistent Bad Breath
Detecting these signs early will indicate you are in the early stages of gum disease, known as gingivitis. One of the most common signs of gingivitis is bleeding from the gums. This symptom is usually most apparent during or after brushing your teeth.
As the disease progresses, the signs become easier to spot and include:
- Gums changing to dark red or purple
- Painful, swollen gums
At this stage, more action is necessary to reverse the effects of the disease. If left untreated, the disease will spread further, causing more damage and requiring more invasive treatments.
Periodontitis Treatment in Houston
The best way to treat gum disease is to catch it early. Treatment at the gingivitis stage requires little more than a special mouthwash and better mouth care at home. When you brush your teeth, be sure to brush for at least two minutes twice per day. In addition, you should visit your Houston dentist twice per year for a checkup.
If the gum disease gets worse, less comfortable procedures may be necessary. The main treatment is called “scaling and root planing,” and invloves scraping plaque from the base of your teeth under the gums. After this, the dentist smooths out the surface of the tooth to reduce the buildup of germs.
Beyond this, when treating advanced periodontitis, surgical procedures including gum flap surgery, bone grafts, and others may be necessary. These procedures can be very uncomfortable as they are somewhat invasive. Scaling and root planing is much less invasive, but still a bit uncomfortable. In any dental procedure like this, sedation dentistry is a must to reduce discomfort for the patient.
To sum up, the best thing you can do for your teeth and gums when it comes to periodontitis treatment is to see your dentist regularly and keep up with oral hygiene.