Worried About Your Gums? 4 Questions You Might Have About Gum Disease

If gum disease runs in your family, you need to pay attention to your mouth. Gum disease is the leading cause of premature tooth loss in adults. Not only that, but it can also lead to serious health problems, including an increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Here are some questions that you might have about gum disease.

What are the Symptoms?

If you're worried about gum disease, you should know that the disease doesn't come without its fair share of symptoms. In fact, if you pay attention to your mouth and watch for the symptoms, you can catch the condition early enough to avoid permanent damage. Some of the symptoms include bleeding of the gums, foul-smelling discharge from around the gum line, and receding gums. In the advanced stages, you'll also notice that your teeth are loose. If you've developed any of those symptoms, schedule a dental exam immediately.

How is the Diagnosis Made?

If you suspect that you have gum disease, you'll need to see your dentist. During your exam, your dentist will conduct a number of tests. The first thing your doctor will do is run a full series of X-rays. The X-rays will show how the bone and root have been affected by the disease. Your dentist will also conduct a periodontal probing of your gums and periodontal pockets. The probing will help to measure the amount of gum that is left, as well as the depth of the pocket – which is where the bulk of the bacteria and damage will be found. Those tests will determine the severity of the gum disease.

What is the Treatment?

If your dentist determines that you have periodontal gum disease, they'll begin treatment right away. The first thing they'll do is schedule you for a deep cleaning. During the deep cleaning, your dentist will perform two specific procedures — scaling and root planing. During the scaling, your dentist will scrape away all the plaque and tartar that's collected on your tooth, below the gum line. During the planing procedure, your dentist will clean the roots to remove all the rough spots that were left behind from the scaling. They'll also remove any bacteria that's present.

What is the Prognosis?

If you've been diagnosed with periodontal gum disease, it's important that you follow through with all the treatment that your dentist prescribes. With proper treatment, you can reduce the risks associated with the disease and protect your teeth.

For more information, reach out to a dental services provider.