Talk about subtle. The early symptoms of gum disease can be so minor that they often go unnoticed unless you are a trained dental professional or know what to look for. Of course, when you come to Dr. McIntosh and the team at Distinguished Dental in Keller, TX, we’re on the lookout for the signs and symptoms of gum disease at every one of your checkups. However, your Keller dentist still thinks it’s important for you to be aware of what gum disease looks like at all stages so that you can be another guardian against this smile-stealing infection.
Gum disease starts out as gingivitis. Red and swollen gums that may bleed when you brush or floss usually mark this early stage of gum, or periodontal, disease. Ironically, many people see blood and limit their oral hygiene routine. In fact, just the opposite is more helpful; regular brushing and flossing is exactly what your bleeding gums need.
When you clean your teeth, you remove some of the bacteria that cause gum disease as well as the plaque where bacteria can accumulate. If not removed, plaque hardens to become tartar, which can only be removed in our office. If left untreated, tartar can lead to the next phase of gum disease.
Periodontitis is the second and more serious stage of gum disease. At this point, the symptoms can have much more dire consequences. Symptoms of periodontitis include:
- Gum pockets around your teeth that measure deeper than four millimeters
- Visible pus as a result of the growing bacterial infection
- Receding gums that may cause tooth sensitivity as the roots become exposed
- Drifting teeth
- Loose teeth
Ultimately, periodontitis may necessitate tooth extraction if treatment to intervene is not sought.
Periodontal Treatment in Keller
As mentioned above, gum disease caught early can be reversed with regular brushing and flossing. Otherwise, treatment may include scaling and root planing; scaling removes plaque and tartar, while planing smooths rough root surfaces. Also, laser treatment can promote speedier healing and gum reattachment. Dr. McIntosh may also elect to apply a topical antibiotic called Arestin that continues to eliminate bacteria for days after treatment.
Call Our Office Today
If you’ve noticed any of the early signs of gum disease, or if it’s time for your regular checkup, then call Distinguished Dental in Keller to schedule an appointment. Dr. McIntosh and her team want to help you beat gum disease so you can have healthy teeth and gums!