Do your gums bleed when you brush and floss? Are your gums sensitive to hot and cold temperatures? Bleeding and sensitive gums are signs of gum disease, also known as periodontitis. We provide periodontal disease treatment at Halliburton Family Dentistry in Ellicott City, MD.
Treating gum disease helps not only restore the smile but improve tooth and gum health. Professional dentist Dr. Denise Halliburton is experienced in helping patients maintain their smiles and reverse the effects of gum disease. Periodontal disease treatment is a restorative dentistry treatment provided by Halliburton Family Dentistry.
Signs of Gum Inflammation and Disease
Common symptoms of gingivitis and periodontitis include:
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen and tender gums
- Loose teeth
- Shifting teeth
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Receding gum line
Contact our office if you have noticed any of these symptoms of gum disease. Our professional dental team can help you find the right treatment to address your needs.
The Stages of Gum Disease
This is the first stage of gum disease and the only one that’s reversible. Plaque and bacteria build up on your teeth, irritating and inflaming the gum tissue. At this stage, it’s hard to recognize that you have gum disease. The biggest indicator is if you notice your gums often bleeding when you brush your teeth. Dedicated oral healthcare can reverse gingivitis. We may also recommend certain mouthwashes or other oral health products to assist in this effort.
Mild Periodontal Disease
At this stage, it’s no longer reversible. We can manage the condition but aren’t able to reverse it. The bacteria start to eat away at the jawbone, which can lead to bone loss. We use scaling and root planing to manage it. We clean out the pockets that have developed between the gum tissue and bone. Debris and bacteria build up in there. We then smooth down your tooth roots so that the gum tissue can reattach to the bone.
Moderate Periodontal Disease
The bacteria continue to advance and probe deeper. Not only do they attack the bone, but the bloodstream too. If the infection gets into the bloodstream, it can carry infection and inflammation throughout the entire body. Like mild periodontal disease, we use scaling and root planing to manage this stage.
Severe Periodontal Disease
In this stage, the infection has completely devolved into disease-causing bacteria. You have severe bad breath, your gums bleed and ooze pus, and it hurts to chew or bite things. It completely breaks down your bone and gum tissue, loosening teeth. Left untreated, this can lead to tooth loss. Only gum surgery or laser gum therapy can manage the disease at this point. We’ll refer you to a trusted oral surgeon.
How Gum Disease Can Impact Your Body
Outside of oral problems, untreated gum disease can impact the rest of your body. Having diabetes makes you more likely to suffer from gum disease. If bacteria from the disease get into your bloodstream, it’s dangerous for someone with diabetes. Your body’s defense mechanisms get triggered, increasing the blood sugar your body is making. It increases the chance that you’ll suffer from diabetes complications.
Cardiovascular disease can be a problem as well. Your chance of heart attacks and strokes increases when you have gum disease. Bacteria gets into the bloodstream and can cause plaque to build up in your arteries and harden. You’re also more likely to get blood clots.
Gum disease increases inflammation throughout the body as well. If you have respiratory problems, it makes them even worse. Bacteria go from the mouth down into the throat and respiratory tract. Inflammation in the airways increases, and you’re more likely to develop a respiratory infection, too.
Treatments for Gum Disease
There are a variety of treatments for patients with mild gum inflammation to severe periodontitis:
- Antibacterial Rinses: For patients with gum sensitivity or irritation, we may recommend an antibacterial rinse. These rinses eliminate harmful bacteria from the gums.
- Scaling and Root Planing: Scaling and root planing are treatments that we typically do for patients during routine appointments. However, they are a great preventative treatment for gum disease. For scaling treatment, a dental hygienist uses special dental tools to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the gums. Root planing smooths the surface of the tooth roots.
- Oral Surgery: Dr. Halliburton will refer you to an oral surgeon if you have severe gum disease. Oral surgery is often used to remove infected gum tissue or add healthy gum tissue to areas that are lacking. Experienced oral surgeons may also treat deep gum pockets to prevent tooth loss.
Schedule a Dental Consultation
Do you need to treat your irritated and sensitive gums? Request a dental appointment with Dr. Halliburton on our website. You can also contact her office for periodontal treatment today at 443.232.0656. Our dental office serves patients from Elkridge, Columbia, Ellicott City, and surrounding areas in Howard County, Maryland. Let us know if you have any remaining questions, and we can help.