Periodontal disease does not occur overnight. There are symptoms that develop in earlier stages; and patients that see their dentist on a regular basis may be alerted to conditions that are pointing to a problem. Your family dentist may recommend you visit a periodontist to receive the optimum treatment available to prevent tooth loss.
Early symptoms that can lead to gum disease include:
- Unprovoked Bleeding gums … brushing with a hard bristle toothbrush and too much pressure can result in bleeding. Use a soft bristle brush and less muscle to prevent bleeding.
- Red, swollen gingiva … healthy gum tissue is pink and firm.
- Chronic bad breath … certain foods contribute to halitosis, but if brushing or mouthwash still leaves a sour smell, your gum tissue could be the reason.
- Gum tissue pulling away from teeth or teeth feel loose … this is very serious. Failure to seek treatment right away could very well lead to the loss of one or more teeth.
There are different treatment options depending on the severity of your condition. Root planing and scaling may be recommended. However, if your condition is serious, debridement may no longer be a good option.
Periodontal surgery usually involves cutting the gums to access the bony area to remove infection and/or plaque beneath the gums where scaling instrumentation can no longer gain access.
Antibiotics may be implanted or prescribed orally, as needed. Bone grafting may be indicated; your periodontist will be aware of this and take steps to be prepared for this eventuality. When treatment is completed and all plaque has been removed, the surgical area is closed; a couple of sutures are usually all that is needed.
The patient is usually advised to rest for a day or two depending on the extent of treatment. Swelling may occur. Eating soft foods is advised; discomfort should subside in a couple of days. Your periodontist will prescribe any needed medications. You may be asked to return for a follow up visit to make sure treatment was successful.
Going forward, you may have been prescribed an oral rinse. Use as directed. Brush and floss every day to help control plaque buildup. Tobacco users are more susceptible to developing gum disease – one of many reasons to quit. And finally, dental visits may be required more frequently than every six months once periodontitis has been diagnosed.
If you have more questions, contact our team today.