These Six Signs Say It’s Time for Periodontal Treatment

You fight tooth decay everyday by brushing and flossing. But what about your gums? They need your care, too.

You may think good dental care only involves preventing tooth decay. Although cavity prevention is vital, your gums need your attention, too! Without proper and consistent oral care, you could develop periodontitis, a serious infection of your gums. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and further erosion of your delicate gum tissue.

You’ve likely heard about gingivitis, an early stage form of periodontitis. When caught in time, gingivitis can be treated and reversed. If the gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, you’ll need extensive dental treatment from a dentist at Espire Dental or a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in gum disease. 

Can You Spot the Six Signs of Periodontitis?

Periodontitis develops when plaque builds up on the surface of your teeth and along your gum line. It’s exacerbated by starchy and sugary foods, which supercharge the growth of bacteria in your mouth. More bacteria leads to more plaque as well as hard-to-clean tartar along the gum line. 

If you don’t brush away the bacteria daily, the plaque breeds unabated, damaging your teeth, gums, tissues, and bones around your teeth. You may not notice gum disease in its earliest stages, but these six signs are indications your gums are in trouble.

Bleeding Gums. All that plaque buildup irritates your gums. When gums are inflamed and irritated, they’ll bleed easily from the slightest of touches, such as brushing or flossing.

Receding Gums. One of the first signs of periodontitis is a receding gum line. Your teeth may appear longer because the gums are shrinking. Uncontrolled bacteria gets in between the gum line and bone tissue around the tooth, causing the gums to pull away from the tooth.

Swollen, Red Gums. Healthy gums have a pinkish color and feel firm when touched. Unhealthy gums are red, swollen, and tender.

Bad Breath. Bad breath, or halitosis, results from bacterial growth in the mouth. If you still have bad breath after brushing and rinsing regularly, it could be due to gum disease.

Tooth Sensitivity. As periodontal disease eats away at the gums, the roots of your teeth are exposed, making them sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.

Loose Teeth. The most destructive effects of periodontitis are loose teeth or total loss of teeth. As bacteria burrows around the tooth root, the bone and connective tissue holding the teeth in place deteriorate to the point where a tooth moves or detaches completely. You may notice loose teeth when you chew and your teeth don’t feel secure in your mouth.

Preventing Periodontitis

Periodontitis is preventable — if you practice good oral hygiene regularly. In its later stages, periodontitis is difficult to treat, so it’s better to avoid extensive dental treatments by maintaining healthy gums with daily dental care.

Brush Twice a Day. Bacteria and plaque grow quickly. The only way to control bacterial and plaque growth is by brushing at least twice a day with a fluoride-based toothpaste. For better cleaning, use an electric toothbrush. 

Floss Daily. Floss gets into the spaces between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. For extra cleaning power, use a dental pick or another dental appliance that’s designed to clean between your teeth.

Rinse With a Therapeutic Mouthwash. Available commercially, antimicrobial mouthwashes help reduce the level of plaque and tartar in your mouth. However, mouth rinses are not a substitute for regular brushing and flossing.

Ditch the Cigarettes. Smoking is associated with a host of bad health issues — and gum disease is one of them. Cigarette smoke weakens your immune system, making it harder to fight gum infections. 

Get a Semi-Annual Cleaning. Although daily brushing and flossing may keep bacteria and plaque at bay, neither will get rid of damaging tartar that’s invading your gum line. Only a professional cleaning can remove tartar, so it’s important to keep up with your cleanings to prevent gum disease.

Mind Your Gums!

Schedule an appointment at the La Mesa location today! Our highly trained dentists can check your teeth and gums for cavities and periodontitis. Don’t live near our La Mesa, CA office? Find one of our other locations near you.

La Mesa, CA
8555 Fletcher Parkway 
Suite 102 
La Mesa, CA 91942