Gum Disease Treatment in Edmonton
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is among the most common dental problems and a main reason why adults lose their teeth. Gum disease can begin at any age, and often develops slowly, and signs or symptoms may not be noticed until the disease has reached an advanced stage. However, gum disease can be prevented, treated, or even reversed (if detected in it early stages).
Gum disease is caused by plaque, bacteria, and tartar. Plaque is clear and sticky, and forms everyday on teeth and the area where gums and teeth meet. Plaque hardens into tartar if it is not removed by brushing and flossing. Unlike plaque, tartar cannot be removed by brushing and flossing, and can cause infection in the area where teeth attach with the gums. This is early stage is called gingivitis, and may be noticed by some redness and bleeding when brushing.
As gingivitis worsens, periodontal pockets may form, allowing bacteria and toxins to collect. These pockets cannot be seen and your gums may not be sore, but there may be evidence of puffy gums, traces of blood on toothbrush bristles, or a change in gum colouration. The infection progressively breaks down the gum tissue that attaches to teeth, causing teeth to loosen and eventually fall out. At this stage, the only way to restore your smile is through cosmetic treatment, such as dentures or dental implants or dental bridges.
In its early stages, gum disease can be difficult to detect, but it is checked for during every dental examination. If early stage gum disease is detected, removal of plaque and tartar by brushing and flossing in addition to regular cleanings by your dentist allows for gums to get better. If gum disease is more serious, you may be referred to a periodontist, and surgical methods of treatment may be required.
If your gums display redness, bleed when brushing or flossing, change in colour and appear shiny, puffy or feel sore, you may have gum disease. Bad breath, a taste of metal, or sensitive teeth are also indicators of gum disease. If you have any of the above signs and symptoms, contact your dentist as soon as possible.