Signs That You Have Gum Disease

Gum disease develops when the gums become infected by harmful bacteria found in plaque and tartar that have accumulated on the teeth. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to various oral health problems, including tooth loss. Dr. Jolynn Galvin, Dr. Patrick Hooper, and Dr. Tom Schripsema, the experienced dentists at Duke City Smiles in Albuquerque, NM, treat gum disease and can help restore the health of your gums. 

Signs of Gum Disease 

It is important to be able to recognize the warning signs of gum disease so you can see a dentist for treatment as soon as possible. Treating gum disease right away helps stop the infection from spreading. Without prompt treatment, the infection can spread beyond the gums and into the surrounding bone holding the teeth in place. Left untreated, bone tissue can erode and cause teeth to become loose and ultimately fall out.

Common signs of gum disease include: 

  • Bleeding gums 
  • Receding gums
  • Gums that are sensitive, red, tender, or swollen 
  • Persistent bad breath that does not improve after brushing
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Tooth loss 

Scaling & Root Planing Treatment

At our dental practice in Albuquerque, NM, gum disease is treated with a procedure called scaling and root planing. The treatment involves deep cleaning below the gum line to clear away plaque and tartar that cannot be reached through normal brushing and flossing at home. Bacteria flourish in plaque and tartar so it is essential to clear these away to prevent the infection from spreading. 

The gums are numbed with local anesthesia prior to performing scaling and root planing to ensure you remain comfortable throughout the procedure. Multiple treatment sessions might be needed depending on how many areas of the mouth require deep cleaning below the roots. Antibiotic treatment might also be applied in conjunction with scaling and root planing to eliminate harmful bacteria.

Scaling and root planing are highly effective for stopping the spread of infection. In cases of advanced gum disease, though, patients might also benefit from additional types of periodontal treatment. Other treatments for gum disease include pocket reduction surgery and gum grafting. Pocket reduction surgery targets pockets of bacteria that develop between the teeth and gum line, while gum grafting replaces lost or damaged gum tissue with healthy tissue from another area of the mouth.

If you have developed signs of gum disease, seeking treatment right away is essential to prevent the infection from spreading. For the treatment of gum disease in Albuquerque, NM, schedule a consultation with Dr. Galvin, Dr. Hooper, or Dr. Schripsema by calling Duke City Smiles at (505) 299-5741.

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