Gum Disease 101: Symptoms, Treatment, & Prevention

Gum disease is a serious yet sneaky dental issue that not many people know a lot about. At Ascension Premier Dental, we work hard to fight gum disease and help our patients prevent it from cropping up in their mouths or the mouths of their family members.

Below, we have answered some of the questions we often hear regarding gum disease. We want you to be fully informed so that you can safeguard yourself and your family. Please feel free to contact our Geismar, LA dental office if you have any additional questions or concerns.

What is gum disease? What causes it?

Gum disease is characterized by the inflammation of the gum tissue in your mouth. The inflammation is caused by a buildup of bacteria. This buildup can happen if you consume a lot of sugary foods. It can also happen if you slack off on your dental hygiene. However, even if you are good about eating right and brushing and flossing, gum disease may still happen to you.

Most Americans deal with gum disease at some point in their lives. The important thing to keep in mind is this: Call us immediately if you suspect signs of gum disease. We can treat it pretty easily if we are able to catch it quickly. The longer you wait, the harder and more painful (not to mention more expensive!) it may be to fix.  

What are the symptoms of gum disease?

The scary thing about gum disease is that it often does not display any symptoms at all! In fact, until the disease progresses, you may not even know you have it. This is just one of the reasons we recommend maintaining a regular cleaning and exam schedule … our hygienists can diagnose gum disease long before you will be able to tell at home.

When gum disease does progress, some of the common symptoms are quite noticeable. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is likely that you have gum disease:

  • red gums
  • swollen gums
  • tender gums
  • bleeding gums
  • receding gums
  • loose or shifting teeth
  • chronic bad breath

If you have any of these symptoms, contact our team right away. We will be happy to help you!

How can Ascension Premier Dental help?

Our team offers a variety of gum disease treatment options that can reverse symptoms and restore your oral health. If your case is mild, we may be able to clear up the infection with a routine dental cleaning. If the case is more severe, a deep cleaning (also called scaling and root planing) may be necessary. We can get underneath your gums and remove the bacteria and buildup to restore your dental health.

If the disease has progressed considerably, we may recommend periodontal surgery. Hopefully, we are able to catch the gum disease soon enough that surgery is not necessary.

What happens if I do not seek treatment for my gum disease?

If you have gum disease but do not seek help, a few different things may happen. First, your condition may progress to a more advanced form. If so, your gum tissue will begin to recede and your jawbone will begin to deteriorate. Then, your teeth may begin to loosen and may eventually even fall out! Gum disease can be very serious – by ignoring symptoms, you may be allowing your oral health to decline dramatically.

How can I prevent gum disease in the future?

Fortunately, there are a lot of things you can do to help prevent gum disease. Follow these easy steps to help ensure great oral health:

  1. Eat a well-balanced diet. Eating healthy fruits and vegetables and limiting your sugar intake will go a long way in preventing dental problems.
  2. Brush your teeth twice a day. A brush with a small head and soft bristles is recommended.
  3. Floss your teeth at least once a day. Be sure to get in between each and every tooth.
  4. Maintain a regular cleaning and examine schedule. This is the best way to catch and treat small problems if they do crop up.

How can I schedule an appointment?

If you need to make an appointment, please call our office at 225-963-5548. We will be happy to help you get the care you need!