Periodontics in Berkeley, CA
What is Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an oral infection that spreads through your gum tissue. It results from a buildup of bacteria in your mouth, which leaves sticky deposits on your teeth called plaque. Nearly half of American adults suffer from gum disease.
Without fast treatment, gum disease can lead to severe consequences for your overall health. That’s why it’s essential to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors so you can seek treatment right away.
Stages of Gum Disease
- Gingivitis — This is the early stage of gum disease when your gums start to look red and swollen. Typically, you won’t experience any pain or other symptoms at this point, making it easy for your infection to go unnoticed.
- Periodontitis — If you don’t seek treatment for gingivitis right away, your infection can progress to the more severe stage of periodontitis. At this point, bacteria will start to destroy the underlying bones and tissues in your mouth, resulting in severe pain and eventual tooth loss.
Risk Factors of Gum Disease
There are a variety of factors that can increase your risk of gum disease. Some of these include:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Medications that reduce saliva flow
- Certain health conditions, such as cancer or AIDS
If your gums appear red and swollen, or if they start to bleed when you brush your teeth, contact our office immediately.
If you get treatment for gum disease while it’s still in the gingivitis stage, your symptoms are relatively easy to reverse. In many cases, you can even eliminate gingivitis yourself with improved oral care at home.
If this doesn’t work, Dr. Dailley will treat your infection with scaling and root planing, a procedure that involves removing plaque from above and below your gumline. We’ll also recommend that you visit us for a periodontal check-up at least once a year.
Once your gum disease has progressed to periodontitis, treatment becomes much more difficult. Depending on your case, Dr. Dailley may be able to perform a soft tissue graft and restore your deficient gums with healthy donor tissue. Otherwise, he’ll work with you to determine the best treatment option available for your situation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by excessive plaque in your teeth and gums. To prevent plaque from building up in your mouth, brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. It’s also important to visit Dr. Dailley twice a year for routine check-ups.
What’s the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis?
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease when your symptoms are mild and easily treatable. Periodontitis is the advanced stage when your teeth begin to loosen and your overall health is threatened.
What if I leave my gum disease untreated?
The quicker you seek treatment for gum disease, the less likely you are to suffer from a serious health complication such as tooth loss or heart disease. If you notice any potential signs of gum disease, schedule an appointment with Dr. Dailley as soon as possible.
What’s the best mouthwash to prevent gum disease?
There are many brands of antibacterial mouthwash that can help to prevent gum disease. Two excellent choices that we recommend are Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash and Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield.
Visit Dailley Dental Care for Periodontal Treatment
While gum disease starts as a relatively mild issue, it can severely damage your health if you aren’t careful. With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Dailley can ensure you receive an accurate diagnosis for your gum disease and identify the appropriate treatment.
Call 510-848-0114 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Dailley — we look forward to meeting you.