Nearly half of American adults over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease – more commonly known as gum disease. This condition often develops silently; you might not even realize you have it until you start experiencing severe symptoms such as pain and tooth loss. To protect your smile as well as your overall health, Dr. Pham can offer periodontal therapy to remove the infection and prevent the damage from worsening. If you think you might be suffering from gum disease, get in touch with Downtown Family Dental of Leesburg to schedule a consultation and treatment – the sooner the better.
As the bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar and starches you eat, they contribute to the buildup of a biofilm called plaque. While some plaque buildup is natural, it’s important to keep it under control by brushing and flossing every day. If you don’t, the bacteria could eventually infect your gums. At this point, they’ll start attacking the gum and bone tissue keeping your teeth in place. Unfortunately, a severe gum infection will not get better if it’s left alone; it needs to be treated if you want to protect your teeth.
While the symptoms of gum disease often go undetected at first, there are still a few warning signs you can watch out for. Early gum disease (known as gingivitis) can make your gums red and swollen, and you might even notice some bleeding. Once the condition is more severe, possible symptoms include a persistent bad taste in your mouth, pus between the gums, bad breath, loose or shifting teeth, and gum recession.
Once you’ve reached the advanced stages of gum disease, you could be at risk for losing your teeth altogether. Also, the inflammation from gum disease has been linked to several health problems, including heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, depression, diabetes, respiratory infections, and pregnancy complications. Having your gum disease treated as early as possible could help prevent you from these severe (and in many cases deadly) complications. Call our office if you notice any of the above symptoms of gum disease, and don’t forget to visit us for regular checkups and cleanings; it could make all the difference for your overall health over the long term.
Dr. Pham can thoroughly examine your gums to look for redness, inflammation, or other signs of gum disease. They’ll also be searching for pockets that have formed beneath the gum line; these pockets often point to extensive bone loss, a sign that the disease has become particularly severe. In some cases, we may need to take an X-ray to see if the infection has spread.
Once we’ve diagnosed your gum disease, we can devise an appropriate treatment. Gingivitis can often be addressed with a cleaning and improved home care, but more severe gum disease normally requires more in-depth procedures.