Gum disease is common among adults in the United States. It is caused by plaque, which is a film that is continuously building up on your teeth. Gum disease, if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. Sometimes there are no symptoms associated with the condition, so regular visits to the dentist are an important way to catch gum disease in its early stages.
Also called periodontal disease, this condition occurs when the gum tissue supporting your teeth becomes inflamed and infected. Potential signs of gum disease include:
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Tender, swollen gums
- Red or deep purple gums
- Teeth that appear long in length because the gums have receded
- Chronic bad breath
- Persistent bad taste in your mouth
- Loose teeth
- Changes in your bite
The earliest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, your gums may bleed easily and they may look redder than normal. This stage is generally easier to treat. When you visit our dentists, they inform you of the options and describe an effective at-home brushing and flossing routine that will help you prevent the condition from worsening.
You may have a genetic predisposition to gum disease, and treatment will reverse the condition and restore healthy gums. Other contributing factors include:
- Poor dental hygiene
- Smoking and/or chewing tobacco
- Crooked teeth
Since gum disease is caused by plaque and the bacteria it contains, good dental hygiene is essential to preventing it. Daily brushing and flossing removes the buildup of plaque on your teeth. If you have crowded teeth that are difficult to clean properly, have a physical condition that makes it difficult to brush and floss, or even if you have gotten a little bit lax with your daily oral hygiene routine, then that can increase the odds of developing gum problems. Our dentists are happy to discuss all of these factors with you, and provide you with tips for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
First and foremost, schedule an appointment with our experienced dentist if you are concerned about gum disease. We will discuss any symptoms you are experiencing, and examine your teeth and gums. Once we assess your oral health, Dr. Morris can recommend those treatments that will improve it.
We always present all of your options. Treatments are individualized to each person because each person who visits us is unique.
If gum disease is present, treatment may involve one or more of the following:
- Deep cleaning (scaling and root planing)
- Gum grafting
Rely on Atlas Dentist and Dr. Morris for clear answers about your options. We know dental problems are not only inconvenient, they can be uncomfortable and painful as well. Our dentists are here to help you restore comfort, oral health and a smile you are proud to share.
Gum recession occurs as the gums shrink away from the teeth, revealing more tooth structure than normal. Gum recession exposes portions of the tooth roots, which can increase tooth sensitivity. During your regular dental appointments, our dentists check your gums. If recession is diagnosed, then a gum grafting procedure may be recommended.
There are several reasons gum recession may arise:
- Gum disease
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Teeth grinding
Are You a Candidate?
Good candidates for gum grafting can enjoy the advantages of this restorative procedure:
- Creates an even gum line
- Reduces tooth sensitivity
- Restores supportive gum tissue
The benefits are two-fold: While gum recession is corrected, so too are the aesthetics of your smile. Gum grafting is sometimes included in smile makeovers because of the comprehensive restoration it offers.
The procedure involves transplanting a small graft of gum tissue to the area of recession. Dr. Morris will walk you through each step of the process and help you decide if gum grafting is the right choice for you.