Posts for tag: periodontal disease

By Mission Hill Dental
November 18, 2019
Category: Oral Health

How healthy are your gums? They could be trying to tell you something.

You might not realize it, but lurking within your mouth is bacteria capable of causing gum disease. Daily flossing, twice-a-day brushing, and regularly visiting our Canyon Lake, TX, dentist, Dr. Horacio Lucero, twice a year for cleanings can all greatly reduce your risk for gum disease, as well as detect any problems early on before they cause serious and irreversible problems for your teeth and gums.

So, what are some of the warning signs and symptoms of gum disease to be on the lookout for?

  • Inflamed gums: Healthy gums are naturally pink, but gums affected by gum disease are often red, swollen, and puffy. This is because plaque releases toxins that can irritate the gums and eventually lead to gingivitis. Inflamed gums are usually the very first sign that something is wrong. Gums may also be tender to the touch.
  • Bleeding gums: Are you noticing blood in the sink after flossing and brushing? If so, this is another sign that your gums may not be as healthy as you think. If you haven’t been flossing and suddenly start up again you may notice a little tenderness or bleeding; however, this problem shouldn’t persist. If your gums bleed often when you brush and floss, then it’s time to turn to our Canyon Lake, TX, general dentist for a checkup.
  • Teeth that look longer than usual: Receding gums is another sign of gum disease. As the gums recede, more of your teeth will become uncovered. If your teeth suddenly look longer than they usually do, then you could have gum disease.
  • Persistent bad breath: There are many reasons for unexplained chronic bad breath, and gingivitis is just one of the common causes. If you are dealing with foul breath despite good oral hygiene, then it might be time to see your dentist.
  • Pus between your gums: As gum disease progresses, pockets of infection begin to develop within the gums. These infected pockets will then grow, causing gums to pull away from the teeth. Over time, pus or fluid may buildup between the teeth and the gums. If you notice pus or an abscess, you need to seek immediate dental care.

Concerned? Give us a call

Mission Hill Dental is dedicated to providing comprehensive dental care to patients living in and around Canyon Lake, TX. Whether you are experiencing symptoms of gum disease or you just need to schedule your routine dental cleaning, don’t hesitate to call our office today at (830) 625-7322.

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Periodontal (gum) disease is a serious infection that can damage more than periodontal tissues — supporting bone structure is also at risk. Any bone loss could eventually lead to tooth loss.

To stop it from causing this kind of damage, we must match this disease's aggressiveness with equally aggressive treatment. The various treatment techniques all have the same goal: to remove bacterial plaque, the source of the infection, from all oral surfaces, including below the gum line. Buildup of plaque, a thin film of food particles, after only a few days without adequate brushing and flossing is enough time to trigger gum disease.

The basic removal technique is called scaling, using hand instruments called scalers to manually remove plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) above or just below the gum line. If the disease or infection has advanced to the roots, we may use another technique called root planing in which we shave or “plane” plaque and tartar from the root surfaces.

Advancing gum disease also causes a number of complex problems like abscesses (localized infections in certain areas of gum tissue) or periodontal pockets. In the latter circumstance the slight normal gap between tooth and gums becomes deeper as the tissues weaken and pull away. This forms a void or pocket that fills with inflammation or infection that must be removed. Plaque buildup can also occur around furcations, the places where a tooth's roots divide off from one another.

It may be necessary in these more complex situations to perform a procedure known as flap surgery to gain access to these infected areas. As the name implies, we create an opening in the gums with a hinge, much like the flap of a paper envelope. Once the accessed area has been cleansed of plaque and infected tissues (and often treated with antibiotics to stop further infection), the flapped tissue is closed back in place and sutured.

To avoid these advanced stages it's important for you to see us at the first sign of problems: swollen, red or bleeding gums. Even more important is to reduce your risk for gum disease in the first place with dedicated daily brushing and flossing to remove plaque and regular dental visits for more thorough cleaning.

Gum disease can be devastating to your long-term dental health. But with diligent hygiene and early aggressive treatment you can stop this destructive disease in its tracks.

If you would like more information on treating gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Treating Difficult Areas of Periodontal Disease.”