Periodontal or gum disease is the top cause of tooth loss and increases risk for serious health problems. The majority of adults over the age of thirty experience some level of gum disease during their lifetime. However, gum disease is not inevitable; it is preventable and treatable. If detected in the earliest stages, treatment for gum disease can reverse the damage to the gums. Even later stages can be effectively treated to protect the gums, bone and teeth. At Optum Dental Arts, we offer diagnosis and therapy for periodontal disease at our clinic in Tampa, FL.
Symptoms and Causes of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gum tissue. This is caused by bacteria flourishing on and between the teeth in plaque and tartar. The bacteria can deteriorate the gum tissue and cause the gums to swell, bleed and recede away from the teeth. Over time, periodontal disease can cause breakdown of the gums and bone that will lead to tooth loss. Gum disease can also increase risk for health issues like stroke, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Periodontal disease usually starts as gingivitis from poor oral hygiene. Excess plaque and tartar left on the teeth cause the gum infection. The symptoms of gingivitis or early stage gum disease include:
- Swollen or bleeding gums
- Receding gum tissue
- Bad breath
- Tender gum tissue
Not everyone has noticeable symptoms of gingivitis or gum disease. It is important to have routine dental exams to catch periodontal disease in the earliest stages for effective treatment.
The first goal in periodontal therapy is to remove the plaque and tartar from the teeth and stop the gum infection. In the early stages, gingivitis treatment may only require teeth cleaning, improved oral hygiene and medication to stop the infection. For later stages, deep cleanings, debridement, scaling and root planing may be required. Severe periodontal disease may require oral surgery to remove diseased gum tissue. Our dental team can create a personalized treatment plan to improve your oral health and protect your gums, bone and teeth from further damage.
Routine dental care can help prevent gum disease or stop its progression. If you have signs of periodontal disease or it has been more than six months since your last checkup, contact us at Optum Dental Arts to schedule an exam at our clinic in Tampa.