Periodontal disease is a complex condition, which begins with plaque and progresses (sometimes quickly) to a serious infection of the gum tissue. Bacteria and other infective microorganisms, which are present in plaque, creep below the gum line where they wreaks havoc on a previously healthy mouth. The destruction and inflammation of gum tissue causes it to separate from the teeth, allowing the infection to move deeper. Without treatment, the cycle can continue, with more tissue being destroyed and more infection developing.
This infection can give your breath a foul odor, make your teeth sensitive, cause your gum line to recede, and build up pockets of pus around the teeth. Eventually, it attacks the bone, causing teeth to become loose and even altering the appearance of your jawline. In recent years, research has also revealed an alarming connection between gum disease and a host of other medical problems, including heart disease.
If your teeth hurt, or your smile is unattractive, you are sure to notice. However, many people pay little attention to their gums. Would you notice if your gums were diseased or infected? The symptoms of gum disease are surprisingly subtle, despite the destruction that it can cause.
Gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, is characterized by subtle discoloration, tenderness, or puffiness of the gum tissue. The most noticeable symptom is bleeding gums when you brush your teeth. Contrary to popular myth, bleeding gums are not normal.
As the disease advances, the gum tissue begins receding and pulling away from the teeth. This often leads to cavities near the base of teeth, and pus pockets surrounding them. Without treatment, the teeth gradually become loose and eventually fall out.
Gum disease can be treated at any stage, and controlling the infection can halt the progressive damage. However, some effects such as bone loss cannot be reversed. Therefore, the sooner you begin treatment the better. If you suspect that you may have gum disease, it is important to seek dental care as soon as possible.
Dr. Bruyere will begin with a periodontal evaluation to determine the severity of the condition before recommending the best treatment. In most cases, gum disease can be treated with conservative techniques such as specially formulated mouth rinses and deep cleaning. However, if the disease is severe, Dr. Bruyere may refer you to a specialist for advanced treatment.
Call us at (903) 708-6116 or stop by our office at 444 Forest Square, STE G, Longview, TX, 75605 to schedule an appointment.