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Gum disease, if left untreated, can wreak havoc on your smile. Advanced gum disease will spread throughout your mouth and weaken connective tissues and your jawbone. Take control of your smile by minimizing your risk of developing periodontal disease. Keep reading to learn more from our O’Fallon gum disease dentists. 

The basics of gum disease

The same oral bacteria that cause cavities can also infiltrate your gum tissue, resulting in periodontal disease. Periodontal disease actually refers to gum disease that has advanced to breaking down the gum tissue, and connective tissues that hold your teeth in place. 

How to recognize periodontal disease

While gum disease can present asymptomatically in its earliest stages, by the time that it becomes periodontal disease, you are likely to notice some unwanted changes to your smile. If you recognize some of these symptoms from you own life, please reach out to your dental team for support: 

  • Hard-to-treat bad breath
  • Gum tissue that is pulling away from the patient’s teeth. As the gums recede you may notice “periodontal pockets” or gaps between your enamel and your gums. Periodontal pockets tend to collect bacteria, dental debris, and food particles, exacerbating the infection.
  • Gum tissue that is prone to bleeding, especially when you are flossing or eating something crunchy.
  • Swollen or sore gums
  • Loose teeth

Restore oral health with prompt treatment

The sooner you are able to start treating gum disease, the better your long-term oral health prognosis will be. Periodontal disease treatment differs from patient to patient, depending on the severity of the infection. You may benefit from:

  • More frequent professional cleanings
  • Laser periodontal treatment
  • A more robust at-home oral hygiene routine
  • Integrating a mouth rinse into your routine
  • Gum tissue grafts

The best way to get started is to contact our O’Fallon gum disease dentists to schedule a personal consultation. We are here to help you defeat gum disease for good! 

When it comes to periodontal disease, the sooner that you are able to start treating your infected gum tissue, the better your dental prognosis becomes. No one knows your smile better than you, which is why our O’Fallon gum disease dentists have put together this primer on symptoms of and treatments for gum disease.

Let’s start with commonly experienced symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Malodorous Breath: bad breath happens to everyone occasionally. However, if you are battling bad breath that is particularly stubborn and hard to treat, you may be dealing with gum disease. As oral bacteria infect the oral tissues, they emit unpleasant odors; in order to beat this type of bad breath you really need to address the underlying infection.
  • Receding Gum Tissue: your gums cover your tooth roots and their sensitive nerves. Periodontal disease causes gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming periodontal pockets, which collect bacteria and food particles. 
  • Bleeding Gums: one sign that your gum tissue is unhealthy is that it bleeds easily. You’ll likely notice blood when you floss, and when you eat crunchy or abrasive foods. Your gum tissue may additionally appear swollen and feel sore.

The key to treating periodontal disease is to seek treatment for the infection as early as possible. Based on the extent of your oral infection you may be advised to:

  • Come in for professional cleanings more often
  • Add a mouth rinse into your at-home oral hygiene routine
  • Rinse your mouth after every meal and snack—either with water or a specially formulated mouth wash
  • Drink plenty of water during the day in order to prompt saliva production
  • Clear away diseased tissue with laser periodontal treatment
  • Complete gum graft treatment in order to rebuild missing tissue 

No matter what your smile looks and feels like today, we are here to help you achieve a smile that you can be proud of for years to come. Give our office a call to speak to a member of our O’Fallon dental team. We look forward to talking to you!

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