Recognizing the Signs of Gum Disease

Signs of Gum Disease in Melbourne, FL | Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease, is a common condition and one of the leading causes of tooth loss. According to the World Health Organization, gum disease affects nearly one billion people worldwide. The first line of defense is knowing what causes periodontal disease and how to stop it from causing trouble. Understanding the first signs of gum disease, how it develops, and how it can affect your overall health are key to prevention.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of gum infection, we are here to help. At Designing Smiles Dentistry, we provide various gum disease treatments to protect and restore your oral health.

Knowing the Signs of Gum Disease

Signs of Gum Disease in Melbourne, FL | Periodontal Disease

Gum disease has a way of sneaking up on us when we least expect it. Often silent and unnoticed in its early stages, it can escalate if not identified and treated promptly. This unwelcome guest manifests in various forms, from mild gingivitis to more severe periodontitis. No matter the stage, prompt intervention can prevent further damage.

Recognizing the symptoms of gum disease requires paying close attention to warning signs, which include:

  • Bad breath
  • Swollen or bleeding gums
  • Pain or discomfort while chewing
  • Sensitivity
  • Gums that have receded from the teeth
  • Loose teeth

If left untreated, the condition can progress to advanced gum disease or periodontitis. This occurs due to the spread of bacteria, causing the gums to recede and expose the tooth’s roots, which can increase sensitivity. Additionally, the infection can damage tissues beneath the gums and weaken the bone supporting the teeth. As a result, teeth can become loose and even fall out.

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Preventing Gum Disease

Recognizing the symptoms of gum disease is crucial, but it’s equally important to understand its causes to prevent it from developing in the first place. Gum disease starts when bacteria accumulate on your teeth, forming plaque, which hardens into tartar. Though plaque can be removed through daily brushing and flossing, tartar buildup can irritate the gums.

Certain lifestyle factors, such as smoking, stress, and taking certain medications, can heighten your risk of developing gum disease. Another culprit is genetics, which can predispose patients to gum disease. When genetics play a role, diligent oral hygiene can help offset the increased risk of gum problems.

Your best defense against gum disease is maintaining a consistent and thorough oral hygiene regimen. This includes brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride remineralizes your teeth, strengthening them and making them more resistant to bacteria that can cause decay. Flossing daily also helps to remove plaque from between your teeth. If you find flossing tedious, we recommend trying floss picks, interdental brushes, or water flossers. Additionally, rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash can help reduce plaque and reverse gingivitis—the early stage of gum disease. Your six-month professional cleanings are also essential, especially if you are experiencing signs of gum disease.

Professional Treatments

At Designing Smiles Dentistry, we provide non-surgical and surgical periodontal treatments. At your free consultation, Dr. Apel will evaluate the health of your teeth, gums, and jaw. He will begin by looking for plaque and tartar, measuring the pockets between your teeth and gums, and using X-rays to assess bone loss. This assessment helps Dr. Apel choose the best procedures for your individual needs.

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Our non-surgical treatments work to slow down the disease’s progression and are used to fight the earlier stages of gum disease. We perform scaling and root planing, a minimally invasive deep cleaning procedure, to remove plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. When combined with at-home care, this treatment can effectively manage the condition, stopping it from advancing to more severe stages that might require surgery.

For severe cases of gum disease, we opt for surgical treatments such as bone grafting or flap surgery. Both procedures improve tooth stability and repair damage from gum disease. These surgeries aim to restore tooth-supporting structures, prevent tooth loss, and restore oral health.

Your Restoration Options

Unfortunately, sometimes gum disease has progressed so far that the teeth may need to be extracted to prevent the spread of infection. In other cases, the teeth have already begun to fall out. In either instance, we can replace teeth with mini dental implants, which are prosthetic tooth roots that support a dental restoration.

Mini implants, about 3 millimeters in diameter, are half the size of traditional ones. Because of their size, Dr. Apel can often place them in a single visit, restoring your teeth in less than a day. Additionally, their narrow design makes them more suitable for patients who have experienced bone loss. Dr. Apel uses a minimally invasive technique to place these artificial tooth roots in your jawbone. He then attaches a restoration like a crown, bridge, or denture to restore your bite and complete your smile.

What sets dental implants apart is their ability to maintain the health of your jawbone by providing the necessary stimulation to keep it strong, unlike other tooth replacement options. It is important to replace your missing teeth as soon as possible, so we often recommend mini dental implants for their practicality, efficiency, and minimally invasive nature.

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Schedule Your Checkup Today

If you notice gum disease signs and require treatment, we encourage you to visit Designing Smiles Dentistry in Melbourne, FL. With over 40 years of experience, Dr. Apel has the expertise to thoroughly assess your oral health and design a personalized treatment plan to restore your teeth. Take the first step towards better oral health by scheduling your free consultation today.

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