What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection of the gums caused by a buildup of bacteria. If left untreated, this infection can spread to your teeth and jawbone to the point that they are unable to be saved.
Periodontal disease is caused by plaque that hardens into tartar, which cannot be removed without proper dental equipment. The earlier stage is called gingivitis, which means that the gums are swollen and bleeding. The later stage is periodontitis, when more serious symptoms start affecting your teeth and mouth.
Millions of Americans suffer from some level of gum disease. Luckily, periodontal disease can be treated at either of our practices in Florissant and Chesterfield.
Symptoms and Effects of Periodontal Disease
You may be experiencing gum disease if you have the following symptoms:
- Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
- Swollen gums.
- Tender gums.
- Red or purple gums.
- Teeth sensitivity.
- Receding gums (which make teeth look longer).
- Loose teeth.
- Discomfort or pain while chewing.
- Spaces between teeth.
- Change in bite.
- Pus between teeth.
Gum Disease Treatment
Dr. Buchheit can treat gum disease and rein in the infection. The first thing he will recommend is great oral hygiene at home, meaning improved brushing and flossing habits. You may also receive gum disease treatment in the form of a deep cleaning.
During deep cleanings, the dentist or dental assistants scrape the tartar from the teeth and get rid of any bacteria around the teeth. A laser may be used to decrease discomfort during gum disease treatment.
Medications and surgeries are used to treat more serious forms of gum disease. Medications that may be administered include prescription mouthrinse, antibiotic gels, oral antibiotics, and enzyme suppressants.
If the periodontal disease is advanced, surgery may become necessary. This can involve removing the tartar deposits that exist in deep pockets in your gums. We can also perform tissue or bone grafting, so the gum tissue can regenerate more effectively.
If you are worried about gum disease, come see Dr. Buchheit for an exam. He has various gum disease treatment options that can alleviate your pain and protect your teeth.