Periodontal disease often progresses asymptotically in its earliest stages, and for this reason it can be difficult for patients to notice gum infections. In fact, many people find out that they have gum disease because they come to speak to our O’Fallon dentists about chronic bad breath.
The problem is that periodontal disease, if left untreated, can lead to much more serious issues than malodorous breath.
The earliest oral health issues related to gum disease may be swollen and tender gum tissue. Your gums may also be susceptible to bleeding, especially when you brush your teeth or eat abrasive or crunchy foods.
Eventually, your gum tissue will start to pull away from your teeth. The gaps between your teeth and gums are called periodontal pockets. These pockets collect oral bacteria and dental debris, leading to further infection. Additionally, periodontal pockets leave sensitive dental roots and nerves exposed.
As periodontal disease continues to progress, it can spread to the connective tissues that keep your teeth in place. This is why periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adult patients. If left unaddressed, this rampant infection will spread to the patient’s jawbone tissue and destroy the underlying structure of his or her smile.
The key to treating periodontal disease is to remove as much accumulated plaque and tartar as possible. Once your smile is free of oral bacteria, your body will be able to fight the infection and your vulnerable tissues can heal.
Professional treatments include root scaling and planing to clear away bacteria. Our dental team will also help you optimize your at-home oral hygiene routine so that you can keep your smile clean day to day. We may recommend that you add specially-formulated mouth rinses into your routine, or use specific tools like oral irrigators.
Our O’Fallon dentists are here to help you get the treatment you need precisely when you need it. Give us a call to get started and schedule a personal consultation!