Have you recently been diagnosed with gum disease? Find out the best ways to get healthy gums again.
What is gum disease? Why does it happen and how do I know that I have it? These are some of the questions our Mill Creek, WA, family dentist Dr. Roger Flake hears. Keeping your smile healthy is our number one priority. Here’s what you should know about gum disease and how to treat it.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
The best way to maintain healthy teeth and gums is to brush twice a day, floss daily and visit your dentist every six months for checkups and care. Since gum disease doesn’t usually cause problems until more advanced and severe stages, the best way to detect gum disease early on when it is easy to treat is through these regular prophylactic cleanings.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
During the early stages of gum disease (known as gingivitis), some people may notice that their gums are puffy, red and tender. You may also notice that your gums bleed whenever you floss or brush. These are warning signs of inflammation. If you are noticing a change in the appearance or health of your gums it’s a good idea to visit our Mill Creek, WA, dentist right away.
If gum disease isn’t treated it will eventually progress into periodontitis or advanced gum disease. At this stage, you may start to notice,
- Gum recession
- Chronic bad breath
- Pockets developing between the gums and teeth
- Pus in the gums
- Loose teeth
How is gum disease treated?
The treatment plan that we create for you will depend on the severity of your gum disease. Gingivitis can be reversed through simple lifestyle modifications and regular professional cleanings. During this time your dentist may recommend coming in more often for cleanings, as opposed to every six months. These cleanings will ensure that plaque and tartar buildup are removed from the gums to eliminate inflammation.
Root planing and scaling is often the most effective way to treat gum disease. This procedure is a deep dental cleaning that involves going under the gums to remove plaque and tartar buildup from the roots of the teeth. Sometimes antibiotics are placed within the gums to kill the bacteria and treat the infection.
In more advanced stages where tooth loss and bone loss are present, your dentist may recommend other treatment options including bone and gum tissue grafting and tooth replacement options such as dental implants or bridges.
Experiencing puffy, inflamed gums? Noticing blood in the sink after flossing? If you said “yes” then it’s time to call our dentist Dr. Roger Flake in Mill Creek, WA, today at (425) 338-2966.