Periodontal or gum disease affects millions of people – the majority of adults over thirty years of age have some level of gum disease. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gum tissue that can cause receding and deteriorating gums, as well as bone loss in the jaw, that can lead to tooth loss and health risks. At First Smile Family Dental, we help protect patients from periodontal disease and when needed, we offer treatment for gum disease at our dental center in Federal Way, WA.
Symptoms and Causes of Periodontal Disease
There are constantly bacteria in the mouth, but some bacteria can flourish when there is food debris left on the teeth. Bacteria creates plaque, the film that forms on your teeth after eating, making it harder to remove the bacteria when you brush and floss. Plaque that is left on or between the teeth can harden, creating calculus, or tartar, on the teeth.
When bacteria flourish in the mouth and tartar is formed on the teeth, the gum tissue may become irritated and inflamed. The irritation of the gums can cause gingivitis, an early form of gum disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can evolve into periodontal disease. Some of the symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen gum tissue
- Receding gums
- Bleeding or tender gum tissue
- Bad breath
- Bone loss, loosening teeth and eventual tooth loss
The main cause of periodontal disease and the resulting symptoms is poor oral hygiene. Daily brushing and flossing combined with professional teeth cleanings can remove plaque, tartar and bacteria to prevent or control periodontal disease. If uncontrolled, gum disease can require treatment to prevent further damage to the gums, bone and teeth.
The first step in periodontal therapy and gum disease treatment is thorough dental cleanings. Deep cleaning and removal of tartar, along with antibacterial medication, can stop or minimize the infection of the gum tissue. The treatment plan depends on the stage of gum disease – some patients may need more aggressive deep cleanings, including scaling and root planing. Diseased gum tissue may need to be removed, which we can perform with our diode laser treatments.
If you have symptoms of gum disease, treatment is available at First Smile Family Dental. Our hygienist and dentist can work together to create an effective treatment plan to restore improved health to your gums and teeth. Contact our office in Federal Way to schedule a checkup and cleaning to get professional dental care for better oral health.