Why Treating Gum Disease is Important
If you have sore, bleeding, or irritated gums you are not alone. In fact, according to the Canadian Dental Association, seven out of ten Canadians will develop gum disease at some point in their lives.
Millions of bacteria live in your mouth. Many of them are extremely helpful to you as they help protect your oral health and are important for starting the digestive process. However, some bacteria feed off the food you consume, produce lactic acid, and cause plaque to develop.
Eventually, these bacteria can cause infections in your gums, jaw, and teeth known as periodontal or gum disease. Dr. K. Ashraf offers various periodontal treatments to help you feel confident in your smile without any pain or discomfort caused by gum disease.
The Main Cause of Gum Disease
Gum disease can happen for a variety of reasons. While a good oral care regimen is the most important part of preventing gum disease, it can still occur for patients that brush and floss every day. The reason for this is that normal brushing and flossing simply can’t reach all the areas where plaque develops.
As plaque hardens into tartar, it causes your gums to become inflamed and infected over time which can eventually severely damage your gum tissue and bone. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults and is easy to overlook in its early stages.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Anyone can be affected by the periodontal disease at any age. Noticing your symptoms in the early stage of gum disease allow Dr. Ashraf to reverse it before it worsens. These symptoms include:
- Red, swollen gums
- Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
- Receding gum line
- Pockets between your teeth and gums
- Changes in your bite
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Constant bad breath or bad taste
Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease can progress into more severe stages the longer you wait to receive treatment. The three stages of gum disease are:
- Gingivitis: In the first stage of gum disease, your gums appear to be mildly inflamed and red. Some bleeding may occur during brushing and flossing. Gingivitis can be easily treated with scaling and root planing.
- Periodontitis: During the second stage of gum disease when gingivitis is left untreated, your gums will begin to separate from the teeth. Plaque will begin to harden and move closer towards your tooth roots, supporting fibers, and jawbone.
- Advanced Periodontitis: When gum disease has been completely ignored, it will advance to its most severe stage. Your supporting fibers and bone will be destroyed, teeth will become loose, and will most likely need to be extracted.
How We Treat Periodontitis
At our Waterloo dental office, we know that every case of gum disease requires a unique treatment plan. We provide personalized treatments to help restore the health of your gums and teeth. Dr. Ashraf uses different periodontal treatments depending on the severity of your condition, including:
- Scaling and Root Planing: Scaling and root planing will typically treat cases of mild or moderate gum disease. During this procedure, Dr. Ashraf will remove hardened plaque and bacteria from under your gum line, and then smooth out your roots to prevent bacteria from settling to the newly cleaned area. Our dentist may also place a slow-release antibiotic below your gums to discourage bacteria growth.
- Gingivectomy: In more severe cases of gum disease, scaling and root planing may not be enough. Gum removal surgery, known as a gingivectomy, can remove infected tissue or reshape gum tissue. This treatment allows thorough plaque removal and can help encourage healing after gum disease.
- Gingival Plastic Surgery: Also known as esthetic gingival plastic surgery, this treatment can help restore the shape and health of your gums after periodontal disease treatment. This treatment may also be recommended for patients who feel their smiles are too “gummy”.
Schedule Your Free Consultation
One of the most important steps to preventing and treating gum disease is through good oral hygiene and regular bi-annual check-ups with Dr. Ashraf. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We are delighted to answer any questions you have and are happy to schedule your next appointment.