We have all heard the terms gingivitis, periodontitis, and gum disease, but few people who are not in the dental professionals know that these terms are all referring to the same issue. Gum disease is the inflammation and break down of the gums. The care of gums is included in a branch of dentistry called periodontics.
Why are gums important?
Simply put, your gums keep your teeth in place. They: Cover and protect the base of your teeth over and protect the bones that your teeth are attached to Support your teeth, forming a layer of softer tissue around the roots of your teeth. When gum disease attacks your gums, it can affect not only the soft pink tissue that covers your jawbones inside your mouth but also the tissue that surrounds the roots of your teeth. If gum disease is allowed to progress without treatment, it can lead to pain, tooth decay, and eventually tooth loss.
Symptoms and Causes of Gum Disease
There are many symptoms of gum disease, including:
- Bleeding gums (even with light tooth brushing)
- Swollen gums
- Shiny gums
- Tender gums when touched
Gum disease is usually caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar on teeth. The tartar can build up between the tooth and gums, causing irritation and inflammation. This is the beginning of gingivitis. If gingivitis is left unchecked, it will progress to periodontitis, which separates the gum tissue from your teeth, leaving spaces for infection and further inflammation to set in. The end result of periodontitis is tooth loss.
Treatment of Gum Disease
Like any other health threat, gum disease is treatable, and the earlier it is noticed, the more easily it is treated. The dentists and hygienists at Smiles For Kids Dental Care treat gum disease by thoroughly cleaning your teeth, which will help keep gum disease from getting worse.
Next, if you have any broken or misaligned teeth, we will repair or correct them. This will enable you to proceed with the second stage of treatment: careful dental hygiene. You may be asked to use tartar- or plaque-fighting toothpaste to prevent a second build-up and repeated symptoms.
Preventing Gum Disease
- The best way to treat gum disease is by preventing it in the first place. At an early age, children should start practicing good oral hygiene and going for regular teeth cleanings. Good preventive techniques include:
Brushing at least 2-3 times a day
Having regular dental cleanings
Being aware of any change in your gum tissue
Letting your dentist know if your gums are inflamed or bleeding
If you suffer from gum disease, please contact our experienced dentist today to schedule an appointment. Smiles For Kids Dental Care serves patients in Cumming, Suwanee, Alpharetta, Roswell, Dawsonville, Dahlonega, Buford, Gainsville, Sugarhill, John's Creek, Canton, Atlanta, Norcross, Peachtree corners and other surrounding areas.
This site provides information about pediatric dentistry, general dentistry, dental hygiene, endodontics, orthodontics, and gum disease. This information is not meant to be taken as dental advice. If you have more questions about our dental office, contact our experienced dentists at Smiles For Kids.