Gum disease is an inflammatory disease caused by a buildup of bacteria around gums at the base of teeth. Known as gingivitis in its early stages, gum disease can progress to periodontal disease without treatment.
As the leading cause of tooth loss, it’s critical that you have gum disease treated by your dentist in Surrey BC. Learn everything you need to know about this condition with the most common questions answered below.
How Does Gum Disease Start?
According to the Canadian Dental Association, seven in ten people have some form of gum disease, most without realizing it. While early stages won’t always progress, care is needed when symptoms develop.
Gum disease starts with the buildup of plaque on teeth, leading to increased bacteria around soft tissue. In most cases, the condition only exists around the superficial layer of the gums, but if it progresses, advanced periodontal disease can develop.
Poor dental hygiene is one of the leading causes of gum disease but it’s not the only one. Several factors from genetics to other underlying conditions like diabetes can increase the risk of developing gingivitis and the more advanced stages of the disease.
What are the Early Symptoms of Gingivitis?
In most cases, it’s easy to identify the early symptoms of gum disease, known as gingivitis. Gums can darken in colour, they can swell, and they may bleed when brushing or flossing.
Gingivitis can also cause the loosening of teeth and some movement, especially in the front teeth. If you notice any of these symptoms, and if your front teeth are starting to appear farther apart or irregularly spaced, it’s time to book a consultation with your dentist in Surrey BC. Gingivitis will progress without treatment so you must get an expert diagnosis and detailed treatment plan to ensure good long-term dental health.
Why do Teeth Loosen with Periodontal Disease?
From gingivitis to advanced periodontal disease, the risk of loose teeth is high. The structure of your teeth, gums, and jaws is complex. Each element plays an important role.
The roots of teeth integrate with the jawbone, creating a stable foundation. Your gums surround the roots and the parts of the teeth just below the crown. With periodontal disease, the gap between teeth and gums shrinks when the tissue degrades. Teeth begin to move, and they can noticeably change position within a relatively short time. This is a major contributing factor to tooth loss.
Because the pocket between teeth and gums grows with periodontal disease, bacteria accumulate and the condition progresses. When you visit your dentist in Surrey BC, the gap between teeth and gums is measured with a special probe to determine the stage of periodontal disease.
Does Age Increase the Risk of Periodontal Disease?
Yes, age can increase the risk of developing advanced periodontal disease from gingivitis. Most cases are diagnosed in patients over 30 years of age, but the condition can exist in adolescence or much later in life. Every case is unique, which is why it’s so important to watch for the symptoms and seek treatment with your dentist in Surrey BC when they occur.
Routine dental checkups can reduce the risk of developing advanced periodontal disease at any age. The earlier the condition is detected, the more effective the treatment will be.
How is Gum Disease Treated?
In the early stages, gum disease is typically treated with scaling and root planing. This is a type of cleaning that removes the plaque and tartar that build up on teeth under the gumline. Antibiotics or other medications may be prescribed to eliminate bacterial activity and clear up any infection.
Even in more advanced cases, there are options for treatment. The pocket between teeth and gums can be reduced. The root will be cleaned and contoured to promote the reattachment of healthy tissue. If there is a severe pocket and infection, regeneration can be stimulated with bone grafting or tissue grafting.
Grafting can be achieved with specialized grafting materials or tissue can be taken from the roof of your mouth to repair receding gums.
Get the Best Treatments with your Dentist in Surrey BC
Your dentist in Surrey BC can evaluate your case, develop an effective treatment plan, and help you to stop and reverse the damage caused by gum disease. Understanding the condition and accepting it is one of the most important aspects of treatment with your dentist in Surrey BC. While poor oral hygiene is often a major factor, this isn’t to suggest that people who suffer from gum disease don’t take care of their teeth. Even with regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing, hygiene below the gumline can be less than adequate.
There is help available if you suffer from periodontal disease. Contact us to learn more about treatment with your dentist in Surrey BC and repair or reverse gum disease.