If you're looking for a Gum Disease Dentist in Roanoke, look no further. At We Care Dental Care, our experienced team of dental professionals is here and ready to provide you with the care and attention you need to get your gums back to good health. Contact us today at (540) 427-7274 to schedule an appointment and start your journey towards a healthier smile.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, as the name implies, is a condition affecting the gum tissue in the mouth. It’s caused by the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth due to failure to brush and floss the teeth adequately. This negligence causes bacteria accumulation, leading to plaque and tartar that later infect the gums.
The first sign of gum disease is gingivitis, which causes the swelling and reddening of the gums. However, not all cases of gingivitis lead to gum disease, and you can easily reverse gingivitis by adopting proper oral hygiene habits. That said, if it goes untreated, the gingivitis leads to periodontal disease.
This occurs when the acid produced by the bacteria on the gum line causes the gums to pull away from the teeth. This leads to puffy and red gums that sometimes bleed and feel tender when you touch them. It also causes bad breath, pus, and the loosening of teeth. People with gum disease typically have difficulties chewing their food.
What Causes Gum Disease?
The primary cause of gum disease is improper oral hygiene, which encourages the build-up of plaque and tartar on the gum line. The bacteria present in the plaque and tartar will infect the gum tissue and lead to symptoms like reddening, bleeding, and swelling, among other symptoms.
Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and because of certain medications can also lead to gum disease. The hormonal diseases can make the gums more sensitive, making them more susceptible to gum disease. Medications like contraceptives, anticonvulsants, and medicine for certain heart conditions can also cause gum disease.
It’s also worth noting that some people are genetically predisposed to gum disease. This puts them at risk despite practicing proper oral hygiene habits. People with diabetes also have an increased risk of gum disease because they have compromised immune systems, leaving their gums more vulnerable to bacterial infection. Chronic stress can also compromise the immune system, leaving you at risk of gum disease.
Signs You Have Gum Disease
The obvious signs of gum disease include red gums with mild to severe bleeding. You also likely have gum disease if your gums appear puffy, swollen, and soft to the touch. Receding gums that expose your teeth’s roots is another gum disease sign. This gum recession will likely lead to teeth that are sensitive to hot and cold drinks and foods.
That said, not all symptoms of gum disease have to do with the gums. A foul breath despite brushing your teeth is another sign of gum disease. Gum disease also causes mild pain while chewing your food.
How Do We Treat Gum Disease
Gum disease responds well to treatment, especially if treatment starts at the earlier stages. Dentists may employ surgical or non-surgical treatment methods, depending on the extent of your infection. For non-surgical methods, the dentist will remove the plaque and tartar build-up on your gum line via a process called scaling and root planing.
Dentists recommend surgical methods for severe cases of gum disease. These surgical methods include pocket reduction surgery, which reduces the space available for plaque build up on the gums. The other surgical method is guided tissue regeneration which uses barrier membranes to redirect new growth of gum tissue.