Periodontal (gum) disease is a condition of inflammation in the gums, which can cause severe damage to your oral health. There are three stages of periodontal disease that range from mild to advanced.
- Stage One
The first phase is gingivitis, which is caused by a buildup of plaque under the gumline.
- Stage Two
Without treatment, gingivitis can develop into the second phase. This is called periodontitis, which impacts the health of the gums and bone that hold your teeth in place.
- Stage Three
Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of periodontal disease, which may cause teeth to become loose or fall out.
To take care of periodontal disease, our dental team at Something To Smile About offers many treatment options depending on the seriousness of your gum disease. We may recommend regular deep cleanings, scaling and root planing, injected antibiotics, gum surgery, gum tissue grafting, as well as tooth extraction. If you have symptoms of periodontal infection, contact our office in Merrimack, NH to schedule an examination and consultation with Dr. Kevin Boulard, our general dentist.
WHO IS AT RISK FOR PERIODONTAL DISEASE?
The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, is difficult to detect by yourself, which is why it’s very important to schedule annual dental exams at Something To Smile About. This gives Dr. Boulard an opportunity to check your gum pockets so he can identify and address the problem before it affects your mouth and overall wellness. As periodontal disease escalates, symptoms can include:
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding when brushing and flossing
- Separated or receded gums
- Persistent bad breath
In the subsequent phases of gum disease, you could also feel discomfort while chewing and sensitivity to cold and hot temperatures. Your teeth may also feel loose or begin to shift. It’s necessary to schedule an appointment if you’re experiencing any of these signs so the disease can be addressed before it spreads or you lose teeth.
DR. BOULARD’S APPROACH TO PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Periodontal disease treatments will be determined by the severity of the infection. If Dr. Boulard diagnoses you with gum disease, he will discuss his recommendations for your treatment plan. For cases caught early, scaling and root planing is typically done to clean out the gum pockets. In more advanced cases, antibiotics may be prescribed along with numerous scaling and root planing treatments. Serious cases of gum disease will normally require gum surgery like pocket reduction or gum grafting.
TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF WITH PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Depending on the stage of gum disease and treatment program, your recovery time will vary. You may need to have a number of appointments at Something To Smile About to address your gum disease. You should continue attending regular dental examinations and cleanings at Something To Smile About. It’s also advisable to keep up a good at-home oral hygiene regimen, which includes brushing and flossing. Dr. Boulard may suggest an antibacterial mouthwash or toothpaste to decrease your chance of getting another periodontal infection.
PERIODONTAL DISEASE FAQ
Is periodontal disease serious?
In many cases, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and serious infections if left untreated. In fact, sometimes these infections can even spread to other areas of the body. There have also been some studies that show periodontal disease can cause heart problems and complications in patients with diabetes.
What are the causes of periodontal disease?
While there are a number of factors that can lead to periodontal disease, the two primary causes are smoking and poor dental hygiene. However, it can also be caused by things, like genetics, age, diabetes, and heart disease.
What are the early signs of periodontal disease?
It’s important to catch periodontal disease as early as possible in order to avoid it causing any long-term damage to your health. If your gums are currently experiencing weird symptoms, such as swelling, discoloration, tenderness, and/or bleeding, you may have periodontal disease. Additional signs can include pus between your teeth and gums and spitting out blood after brushing or flossing your teeth.
TO YOUR GUM HEALTH AND MORE
Gum disease will cause more damage without the correct treatment, so it is important to get professional help as soon as any signs occur. At Something To Smile About, we work with you to heal your gums and prevent future instances of advanced periodontal disease. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Boulard, contact our office in Merrimack, NH.