What to Do if You’ve Been Told You Have Gum Disease

beautiful confused womanYour reaction to learning that you have gum disease would depend largely on how much you know about the condition. If all you’ve heard is what’s mentioned frequently in mouthrinse commercials, you might just think it’s time to start using mouthrinse. If Dr. Stewart diagnoses your condition, then you’ll know that gum disease warrants more concern than adding mouthrinse to your hygiene cabinet. Even mild gum disease requires professional treatment, such as a deep periodontal cleaning and improved hygiene. In its advanced stages, though, gum disease may require more complex treatment, such as surgery, to keep it under control and prevent the loss of one or more of your teeth.

How Serious is It?

Most dental issues are progressive, and grow worse the longer they’re left untreated. Technically, the first stage of gum disease development is gingivitis, which describes the infection resulting in red, swollen, and often-bleeding gums. In truth, however, gum disease begins when oral bacteria overwhelm your teeth and gums. An overabundance of mouth microbes can lead to an infection, causing your gums to swell and separate from your teeth. Over time, the infection becomes a disease, and in severe cases, it can destroy the gums and jawbone that your teeth rely on for support.

Save Your Smile

Treating early gum disease, or gingivitis, is often an effective way of preventing the infection from becoming advanced gum disease. Mild to moderate cases usually call for a deep periodontal cleaning, which consists of thoroughly cleaning bacteria from underneath your gum line. Known as a scaling and root planing, a deep cleaning can also involve smoothing the surfaces of your teeth’s roots so that bacteria can’t cling to them as easily. Advanced gum disease, or periodontitis, can destroy portions of your gum tissue and erode the jawbone underneath it, and might require surgery to effectively treat. In severe cases, Dr. Stewart may recommend you to a periodontist (gum specialist) for expert periodontal treatment and maintenance.

About Your Livonia Dentist:

As an experienced general dentist, Dr. James Stewart has helped many patients improve their dental health and quality of life by diagnosing and treating different stages of gum disease. James Steward, DDS, and our compassionate staff proudly serve patients of all ages from Livonia, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Northville, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, and all surrounding communities. To schedule an appointment, call our office today at (734) 425-4400.