Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss amongst adults, and you might not even be aware that you have it until it’s already progressed into its later stages. If you’re suffering from periodontal disease or want to check in on the health of your gums, schedule a visit with Harsimrat Sandhu, DDS, at Addisville Dental in Richboro, Pennsylvania. Call the office or use the online tool to book your appointment.

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What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection of your gum tissue. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that half of American adults over 30 have experience gum disease in some form during their lives. It’s a serious condition that can cause you to lose teeth and poses a threat to the health of your entire body.

What causes periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease develops as a result of poor hygiene. When you don’t brush or floss often enough, plaque is left to sit on the surfaces of your teeth for too long.

Plaque is full of harmful acids and bacteria that irritate your gum tissue and eventually cause it to deteriorate. That irritation and deterioration is the root of periodontal disease.

What are the different stages of periodontal disease?

There are two progressive stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis.

In gingivitis, the plaque on your teeth has just begun to irritate your gum tissues, making your gums puffy, red, and swollen. They might also bleed when you brush or floss them. Gingivitis is entirely reversible with improved at-home care and more regular dental cleanings.

Gingivitis develops into periodontitis, however, if left untreated. In periodontitis, your gums begin to pull away from your teeth in order to avoid the irritation by the plaque. This recession creates gaps between your teeth and gums called periodontal pockets. Those pockets collect debris, which further irritates your gums and causes them to recede even more. As the infection and the recession intensify, the structures holding your teeth in place deteriorate, leading to tooth loss.

What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

Some of the common symptoms of periodontal disease include:

  • Swollen, tender, or red gums
  • Bleeding when you brush or floss
  • The feeling that your teeth don’t fit together
  • Loose teeth
  • A bad taste in your mouth that won’t go away

Periodontal disease is famous for developing silently. Many patients don’t realize they have it until it’s already progressed into its later stages. Dr. Sandhu is trained to spot periodontal disease in its earlier stages, however, which is why regular cleanings and checkups at Addisville Dental are so important to your oral health.

How do you treat periodontal disease?

If your periodontal disease is still in the gingivitis stage, Dr. Sandhu can treat it with more frequent professional cleanings and instructing you on better at-home care. She might also recommend an antibacterial mouth rinse or toothpaste to fight the infection.

If you’ve progressed to periodontitis, Dr. Sandhu might suggest:

Scaling and root planing

This is a deep cleaning of your mouth that involves removing plaque and tartar from both above and beneath your gumline. Dr. Sandhu also smooths down the surfaces of your tooth roots to make it more difficult for bacteria to stick to them.

Bone grafting

If your periodontal disease has deteriorated the bone tissue in your jaw, Dr. Sandhu can perform a bone graft to restore the loss and strengthen your jaw.

Schedule your consultation for periodontal disease today by calling the office or booking a visit online.