Gum disease is a common problem among adults, and one Dr. Pope, Dr. Pickering, and Dr. Lewis and our periodontal team see all too often. Early stages of gum disease are known as gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums. This can progress to more serious gum disease known as periodontitis.
If you notice signs and symptoms of gum disease, take early action to prevent progression of gingivitis to more serious periodontitis and the risk of losing your teeth due to gum loss.
Watch for These Signs and Symptoms
It’s important to watch for signs and symptoms of gum disease, especially if you have risk factors. Early detection at home can help you get treatment sooner so that you don’t risk losing your teeth. These are the classic signs and symptoms of gum disease:
- Inflamed gums, or gums that are red or swollen
- Pain when you chew
- Teeth that are sensitive to heat, cold, sweets, or brushing
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath that you can’t get rid of by brushing or using mouthwash, even when you don’t eat particularly smelly food
- Gums that are sore to the touch or bleed easily, including when you brush your teeth
- Teeth that seem to be taller or longer due to receding gums
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the way your dentures fit in your mouth
Signs We Look For
When you visit our San Mateo, CA office, we will examine you to see how far your gum disease has progressed. We do this by:
- Discussing your medical history with you to see which risk factors you have
- Checking your gums to see if they are swollen or red, and how far the inflammation has progressed
- Measuring the depth of any pockets around your teeth using a type of ruler called a probe.
Treatment for Gum Disease
Brushing and flossing go a long way toward preventing bacteria from forming acid on your teeth and allowing tartar to build up. However, once you have the beginnings of gum disease, your regular brushing and flossing routine aren’t enough. Dr. Pope, Dr. Pickering, and Dr. Lewis can provide more extensive treatment, such as:
- Deep cleaning through scaling and root planing
- Medications to fight the infection
- Surgical treatments, like bone or tissue grafting to replace lost tissue
If you think you may have gum disease, or are concerned about the state of your gum health, be sure to contact our San Mateo, CA office to schedule an appointment. Together, we can help you achieve a lifetime of good oral health.