Gum Disease

Gentle Dental Care

General Dentists, Cosmetic Dentists, & Family Dentists located in Grand Island, NE

Chronic advanced gum disease or periodontitis affects around 47% of people over 30 in the United States, and it can lead to tooth loss. The skilled dental team at Gentle Dental Care in Grand Island, Nebraska, can help prevent gum disease with regular teeth cleaning sessions and oral hygiene advice, and can reverse gum disease in its early stages. Call Gentle Dental Care to find out more or to schedule a consultation.

Gum Disease Q & A

What is gum disease?

Gum disease or periodontal disease is an infection in your gums that can lead to tooth loss. It’s typically painless, so you could be unaware you have it until your teeth start to feel loose.

There are warning signs of gum disease that you should be aware of. If your gums bleed easily when you brush or floss, or they look red or swollen, that can be a sign of gum disease. You might have a foul taste in your mouth or constant bad breath, and your gums may feel tender.

As gum disease progresses, your gums can start to pull away from your teeth, and you might notice that your teeth look like they’re separating or start to feel loose. You might feel like your teeth come together differently when you bite, and if you wear partial dentures, they might feel like they don’t fit properly anymore.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease develops because of plaque, the sticky substance that coats your teeth and builds up if you don’t brush regularly. Plaque is full of bacteria that can infect your gums and lead to gum disease.

There are many factors that can increase your risk of developing gum disease. These include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Using tobacco
  • Genetics
  • Crooked teeth
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes

Some medications can also make you more likely to develop gum disease, particularly:

  • Steroids
  • Some anti-epilepsy drugs
  • Cancer therapy drugs
  • Some calcium channel blockers
  • Oral contraceptives

If you spot any signs of gum disease, visit your dentist at Gentle Dental Care as soon as possible, before the problem gets worse.

How is gum disease treated?

The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis, which makes your gums look red and swollen, and start bleeding when you brush. If you visit Gentle Dental Care as soon as you notice these signs of gum disease, your dentist can usually cure the problem with a comprehensive teeth cleaning session.

If you leave gingivitis untreated for too long, it can develop into advanced gum disease, called periodontitis. At this stage, the infection can cause loss of gum tissue and even affect the bone underneath your teeth. This is when your teeth start to feel loose.

Potential treatments for advanced gum disease include:

Tissue regeneration

Your dentist might be able to use bone grafts to encourage new bone growth, or soft tissue grafts to strengthen damaged gums.

Pocket elimination surgery

Periodontal flap surgery can reduce what’s called a pocket gap between your teeth and gums that gum disease can cause. Bone surgery might be necessary if there are bacteria in your jawbone. Surgery can remove craters where bacteria breed and help prevent future bacterial growth.

Laser therapy

Laser therapy can also help reduce the size of pocket gaps.

If you have any symptoms of gum disease, call today to book an appointment with your dentist at Gentle Dental Care.