Periodontitis is a gum infection that damages the bone and soft tissue. If you don't visit your Waterford, WI, family dentist, Drs. Michael Casey or Mary Lenz, you risk tooth loss.
More About Gum Disease
Periodontitis (gum disease) is largely preventable if people practice proper oral hygiene. You need to brush at least twice a day, flossing daily, and get regular dental checkups.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
- Swollen gums
- Red or purplish gums
- Tender gums
- Gums that bleed easily
- Bleeding after brushing and flossing
- Bad breath
- Pus between teeth and gums
- Loose teeth or loss of teeth
- Pain while chewing
- Newly developed gaps between teeth
- Receding gums
- A change in bite
Your dentist will first examine your gums and note signs of inflammation. A probe (tiny ruler) measures pockets around teeth. Pockets shouldn't be more than 3 millimeters since healthy mouths have pocket depths between 1 and 3 millimeters. This test is painless and the checkup usually involves other tests, like the use of an x-ray to determine any bone loss.
Your Waterford family dentist will want to focus on controlling the infection. This requires effort from patients. People should improve their at-home oral hygiene, like use antimicrobial mouthwash, get biannual professional dental cleanings and quit unhealthy habits, like smoking and drinking alcohol.
Your dentist may also perform a procedure called scaling, scraping off tartar above and below the gum line, and/or prescribe medication:
- Antiseptic chip or antibiotic microspheres
- Antibiotic gel
- Enzyme suppressant
- Oral antibiotics
Surgery is also a possibility if you have severe periodontitis. Procedures include gum graft surgery or flap surgery.
Do you need a consultation?
Gum disease is dangerous for a person's oral health, as well as their overall wellbeing. If you have any questions about gum disease, don't hesitate to contact your Waterford, WI, family dentists, Drs. Michael Casey and Mary Lenz, at (262) 534-6515.