Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, is mild and can be easily managed with proper treatment. Many adults may notice no or few symptoms, including bad breath, pus in the pockets around the tooth, or tender, red, swollen, or bleeding gums when brushing or flossing. Although these symptoms might seem commonplace and they may not bother you, bleeding gums are never normal; it is a sign you have an infection and need to see one of the experienced dentists in Point Cook to restore your oral health.
If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to gum disease, otherwise known as periodontitis or periodontal disease. As the disease progresses, it may cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, forming a pocket in which bacteria can thrive. The bacteria, if not properly and quickly treated, can eat away at the bone that is anchoring the teeth in the jaw, causing it to dissolve. Ultimately, the teeth will loosen and eventually fall out.
Here at Infinite Point Cook Dental, our dentists are experienced and dedicated to providing you with relief as well as positive oral health. Whether you are noticing the first signs of gingivitis or you fear that gum disease is on its way, our dental experts can accurately detect your current gum condition.
What Causes Gum (Periodontal) Disease?
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults worldwide. Periodontal disease is, at its root, an infection of the structures around the teeth. It begins when the bacteria in your mouth erodes the enamel on teeth above the gum line, which then leads to dental decay. If bacteria spreads below the gum line, it can erode the bone and tissues that hold teeth in place. Several factors that can lead to periodontal disease include smoking, stress, aging, genetics, poor brushing and flossing habits, and systemic diseases such as diabetes.
During your dental visit, the dentist and hygienist will evaluate the health of your gums. Periodontal disease is a chronic illness and only reversible when caught in its earliest stage — gingivitis. Once it advances, it must be regularly managed just like diabetes or any other chronic disease.
Is Periodontal Disease Treatable?
There are several ways to treat periodontal disease, and the treatment method will vary depending on the progression of the infection. However, the most common procedure is known as “deep cleaning.” During this scaling and root planing procedure, the dentist removes plaque from the tooth surfaces below the gum line (scaling) before smoothing out the rough spots on the tooth roots (planing). This procedure removes bacteria and creates a smooth surface so that the gums may reattach to the tooth.