Periodontal disease starts out with very mild symptoms. Most people may not even notice the early stages. Unfortunately, this also means that the disease often advances to later stages without proper treatment. Early periodontal disease treatment is the key to reversing damage caused by bacteria.
Knowing the Signs of Periodontal Disease
It’s pretty easy to spot gum disease early if you know what to look for. It doesn’t always start with pain. In fact, there usually isn’t any pain at all in the beginning. You should be on the lookout for:
- Bleeding around the gums, especially after brushing your teeth
- Swelling of the gums
- Slight color changes in the gums (often an inflamed red color)
These are the earliest indicators of gum disease. The first stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis. Most people associate gingivitis with bleeding gums, but this symptom is not always present. As there is usually no pain at this stage, people often ignore it. But, if you notice these signs, make an appointment with your Houston dentist for a professional cleaning to prevent the disease from progressing.
As the disease progresses, more symptoms will appear and initial symptoms will worsen.
- Bleeding gums don’t usually occur after the first stage
- Gum lines may recede
- The gums may become tender, in addition to swollen
- Color change may be more noticeable, with gums turning bright red or even purple
At this stage, it is very important to see your dentist. Using advanced cleaning techniques, the dentist clears away plaque and tartar around the gum line. In some cases, they also prescribe antibiotics to combat any infections.
Seeking Periodontal Disease Treatment
Now that you know the warning signs, let’s look at periodontal disease treatment options. At its earliest stages, the primary course of treatment is thoroughly cleaning the teeth and preventing germ growth.
Your Houston dentist focuses on cleaning around and under the gums, removing plaque and germs. The germs that get under the gum line are the root cause of gingivitis an periodontitis. By clearing them away, the gums have a chance to heal.
In later stages, the primary goal remains the same: clean around and under the gums. However, the greater the severity of the disease, the more involved the treatment is. At the middle stage, cleaning is done with a process called scaling and root planing. Scaling scrapes bacteria from the teeth while root planing smooths out the roots of teeth to prevent germs from clinging to them. This process can be quite uncomfortable.
In the last stage, known as advanced periodontitis, the procedures are even more uncomfortable. Surgical procedures to cut into the gums are necessary to target the bacteria on the roots of teeth. If the damage is bad enough, grafts may also be necessary. A prolonged wait to seek periodontal disease treatment leads to infection of the bones in the jaw, which is detrimental to your health.
In conclusion, the best way to treat gum disease is to prevent it from progressing. Make an appointment with your Memorial dentist at the first signs of gum disease, and you will prevent the need for extreme treatments.