Specialized gum care when you need it most.
Have you been diagnosed with gingivitis or periodontitis? You’re not alone. In fact, gum disease, in both stages, is a common oral health issue affecting millions of people throughout the country every year.
According to the CDC, more than 47% of adults 30 years and older have some form of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. The leading cause of adult tooth loss, gum disease, is a silent epidemic that can progress painlessly and produce few obvious signs, even in the later stages when bone and connective tissues are destroyed. What’s more, gum infections can be linked to other serious conditions like heart disease and stroke if left untreated.
The good news is that with specialized and consistent dental visits and care, you can alleviate the symptoms of gum disease and help save the structure of your mouth and the strength of your dental bones.
Here’s some important information answering the most frequently asked questions about gum disease. If you have additional questions or concerns not listed here, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We are always happy to help you navigate your dental journey.
What is a Periodontist?
A periodontist is a specialized dentist who focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating periodontal or gum diseases. They are often referred to as gum specialists and directly care for the gums and bones of the mouth. In most cases, this specialized provider is also trained in dental implants. The first step for any of your dental care is to visit your general dentist, who knows your full history and can evaluate, diagnose and make any referrals to outside specialists if necessary.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a type of infection that directly impacts the gums of the mouth. It is categorized into two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Both stages are preventable through proper and consistent oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing and regular dental visits.
What is Gingivitis?
Considered the earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis is often categorized by inflamed or swollen gums. Other symptoms include gum redness, puffiness, bleeding, bad breath, and pain or sensitivity while brushing, eating, or drinking. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the progression of gum disease.
What is Periodontitis?
Periodontitis is the more severe stage of gum disease categorized by a serious infection that affects the mouth’s soft tissues. If left untreated, it can damage and destroy the bone that supports your teeth. This can lead to loose teeth or complete tooth loss.
What are the Symptoms of Periodontitis?
Symptoms of gum infection or disease can vary by patient and severity of infection but often include:
- Swollen or puffy gums
- Bright red or purple gums
- Gums that bleed easily
- Spitting out blood when brushing or flossing your teeth
- Bad breath
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Loose teeth or loss of teeth
- Pain while chewing
- New spaces developing between your teeth
- A receding gum line
How Do You Get Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by plaque buildup on the teeth, especially around and under the gumline. Periodontal disease is mostly preventable and the direct result of poor or inconsistent oral hygiene. Without proper brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits, your chances of gum disease increase.
Other factors that increase your risk of gum disease include:
- Hormone changes
- Family history
How Do You Get Rid Of An Infection In Your Gums?
Regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits can help prevent and mitigate gum infections in their earliest stages. However, if you are experiencing a gum infection, diagnosis and treatment should be provided by a periodontist for best results.
Does Gum Disease Go Away?
Gum disease will not go away on its own. Therefore, if you are experiencing gum infection or disease symptoms, we recommend that you see your dentist right away for further evaluation.
If caught in the early stages, gum disease can be cured. However, as the disease progresses to stage two or periodontitis, it can not be cured and will not go away. It can, however, be treated and managed significantly with the help of a periodontist.
How Do You Treat Gum Infection or Disease?
Depending on the severity of your gum infection, there are various treatment options to help with gum infection and disease, including:
- Improved oral health care
- Antibiotic therapy
- Root planing and scaling
- Flap surgery
Together with your dentist and periodontist, you will determine the best treatment option for your unique needs.
Who Should See a Periodontist?
Your general dentist can diagnose and treat many gum issues, however, they may refer you to a periodontist if you are experiencing gum infection, risk of tooth loss due to bacteria under the gums, or a complex case of gum disease.
Another reason to see a gum specialist is for the evaluation and placement of dental implants, which your general dentist will then complete with a natural-looking tooth replacement such as a crown, bridge, or denture.
Alpine Dental Health is pleased to provide an array of treatment options for your comfort and convenience, all under one roof. In that spirit, we’re incredibly proud to offer the expertise of Dr. Todd Rosenzweig, DDS, MDS, a periodontist who is located in our Fort Collins office. To learn more about gum disease or schedule your appointment with Dr. Rosenzweig, contact us today. Your gum health matters so much to us; don’t delay treatment.