While you may think of your teeth first when you consider your smile, your gums are also essential to maintaining optimal oral health. Dr. Cigno and Dr. Al-Kassab are happy to provide gum treatment to ensure that your entire smile stays healthy. For more information about our periodontal services and treatments for gum disease in St. Louis, Missouri, we invite you to contact Cigno Dental Care today at 314-450-7074 and set up your next visit with our dentists.
WHAT CAUSES GUM DISEASE?
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a degenerative condition primarily caused by bacteria found in plaque. The bacteria inflame and infect the gum tissues, and when left untreated, can eventually cause the gums to pull away from the teeth. Untreated periodontal disease can result in bone loss, tooth loss, and gum tissue recession.
Periodontal disease has 2 stages:
- Gingivitis — This is the early stage of gum disease, when the gums become red and swollen, and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is treatable and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing.
- Periodontitis — If left untreated, gingivitis will advance into periodontitis, and the gums and bone that support the teeth will become seriously and irreversibly damaged. Gums infected with periodontitis can cause teeth to become loose, fall out, or be removed by a dentist.
Common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath or a recurring bad taste in your mouth
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Any change in the fit of partial dentures
Following an exam at our office, our dentist and team will be able to determine whether you suffer from periodontal disease.
TREATING GUM DISEASE
The treatment for gum disease is based upon your specific dental needs. Depending on the severity of the condition, our dentist may recommend:
- Additional professional dental cleanings
- Improved at-home oral hygiene
- Antibiotic treatment
- Scaling and root planing (deep cleanings)
- Gum surgery
There are certain factors which can increase your risk of developing gum disease, including:
- Smoking or using chewing tobacco
- Certain types of medication such as steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives
- Bridges that no longer fit properly
- Crooked teeth
- Old fillings
PREVENTING GUM DISEASE
You can help prevent gum disease by maintaining good oral health at home, and by visiting our dentist regularly for dental checkups and periodontal examinations. For more information on periodontal treatment, we welcome you to call or visit our office soon. We look forward to caring for your smile!