GINGIVITIS AND GUM DISEASE
Gum disease is a contagious, saliva-transmitted disease which sometimes needs to be treated with antibiotics. Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease, beginning with minor symptoms like gum inflammation. Although it is highly treatable, gingivitis is often left untreated and allowed to progress into an advanced stage of a periodontal disease known as periodontitis. Though still treatable, periodontitis requires more invasive treatments to prevent total tooth loss.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
- Reddened or swollen gums
- Gum tenderness
- Gums that easily bleed
- Persistently bad breath
- Receding gum line
- Gums that have pulled away from the base of the teeth, forming ‘pockets’
- Loose teeth
Highly Preventable Diseases
Did you know that gingivitis and periodontitis are both highly preventable diseases? Although approximately half the U.S. adult population suffers from some form of gum disease, many could have prevented it by brushing and flossing regularly, as well as visiting the dentist for periodic exams and professional teeth cleanings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need treatment for gingivitis or periodontitis?
If you are experiencing any symptoms of gum disease, seek treatment immediately. Failure to treat a periodontal disease can allow the condition to progress, eventually causing irreversible damage, such as tooth loss.
What should I expect during gingivitis or periodontics treatment?
Your treatment will depend on the extent of your gum disease. If you are diagnosed with the beginnings of gingivitis, you may be given a take-home treatment. If your periodontal disease is more advanced, you may need gum surgery to remove harmful bacteria and restore damaged gums. In-office treatments are performed under a local anesthetic and sometimes sedation to reduce procedural discomfort.
Will I need to follow any special instructions after my treatment?
Yes. You may be prescribed an at-home antibiotic to take following your treatment. Your periodontist may also recommend consuming only soft foods in the days following your procedure, as well as the use of ice packs to reduce swelling and inflammation. Exact instructions will vary according to the type of treatment, so contact our office for further questions about post-procedural self-care.