Gum disease not only affects over 75% of patients at some point in their lives, it remains a leading cause of tooth loss in adults today. Known as the “silent disease”, gum disease often goes unnoticed until the patient comes in for a visit to our Lawson dental office or it has advanced to periodontitis and is affecting the teeth.
During routine preventive dental care, Dr. Kanning performs a periodontal screening to look for signs of early gum disease. There are several signs and symptoms to watch for and mention during a visit with Dr. Kanning:
- Bleeding gums
- Red, swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Consistent bad breath
Stages of Gum Disease
There are two stages of gum disease and spotting it in the earlier stage can prevent the possibility of permanent damage to both gum tissues and teeth.
Gingivitis: early stage gum disease is known as gingivitis and often results in an increased sensitivity along with some bleeding during toothbrushing or a dental cleaning. Gingivitis is diagnosed when gums are beginning to show the signs of infection and pockets are developing between the gums and tooth roots.
Periodontitis: advanced gum disease, periodontitis is characterized by swollen, infected gum tissue that has separated from the tooth roots. This enables bacteria to create a deeper infection that also attacks the tooth structure and results in loose teeth and permanent damage to gum tissue.
Treatment for Gum Disease
Dr. Kanning will tailor periodontal therapy to your dental health with the goal of restoring the gums and preventing future infection. In most cases when gingivitis is present, a thorough cleaning process called scaling and root planing can remove plaque from the gum line and tooth roots. Dr. Kanning may recommend the addition of an anti-bacterial rinse at home to keep the gums healthy between visits.
If periodontitis is diagnosed, Dr. Kanning may refer you to a local specialist to address any damage to the gums and avoid the possibility of tooth loss.