Periodontal Disease Symptoms and Treatment Options
Periodontal disease is widespread, affecting an estimated seven out of ten Canadians. Gum disease is a progressive condition that can start with only mild symptoms, but if left untreated, it can result in irreversible damage to your teeth, gums, and other oral tissues. Led by Dr. Kenneth Poznikoff, Riverside Dental Clinic in Drumheller, Alberta, offers gum disease treatment options to meet various patient needs.
Stages of gum disease
Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease. While some patients don’t notice any symptoms at this stage, we check for signs of gum disease at every routine check-up to ensure that your gums are healthy and initiate a plan to restore them to health if needed. Early signs of gum disease can include:
- Swollen gums
- Gums that are red instead of a healthy pink
- Bleeding when you brush or floss
- Bad breath that persists despite brushing and flossing
- Tooth sensitivity
As the bacterial infection grows in your gums, the acids begin to eat away at the tissues, causing the gums to start to separate from the teeth. These areas, called periodontal pockets, become a breeding ground for the bacteria and plaque to increase and are impossible to clean with brushing and flossing at home. This vicious cycle continues and can eventually lead to severe oral health problems such as receding gums, bone loss, loose teeth, and even tooth loss.
In this stage, it is possible to reverse periodontal disease with a diligent home oral hygiene routine and regular appointments with the dentist for professional cleanings. However, there is no cure for gum disease in its later stages. It is essential to manage it in partnership with your dentist to prevent further progression and damage to your teeth, soft tissues, and underlying bone. Depending on the extent of the infection, your dentist may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
- Deep cleaning (scaling and root planing): This is often the first course of action when advanced periodontal disease is identified. During this procedure, we gently clean out the periodontal pockets, sanitize the area, and then smooth the roots of the teeth to better form a healthy reattachment with the gum tissue.
- Antibiotic medications: Topical or oral antibiotics can be used to help get the gum infection under control.
- Gum grafting: Patients who have experienced the loss of gum tissue may need a gum graft to cover and protect exposed tooth roots.
- Surgical treatment: Gum surgery may be necessary in severe cases of gum disease.
At Riverside Dental Clinic, Dr. Kenneth Poznikoff and our team of dentists provide you with non-judgmental, compassionate care designed to help restore your oral health. To schedule your appointment at our Drumheller, AB dental practice, call (403) 823-7755 today!