During every preventative exam and professional cleaning you have at Stephanie Murphy DDS, our dentist will perform a thorough examination of your gingival health, your gum health. Keeping your teeth sparkly white isn’t enough to maintain a long-term, healthy smile. If your gums aren’t healthy, your oral health is suffering. Our dentist is committed to giving every patient a healthy, beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. To schedule your preventative exam and gum disease screening, call Stephanie Murphy DDS today!
What is gum disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, begins as gingivitis, then progresses to periodontitis and then to advanced periodontitis. Gum disease is caused by the bacteria in plaque and tartar that forms under the gums that causes deep infection in the gum tissue and bone.
How does gum disease develop?
Gum disease develops because plaque, a sticky bacteria-filled film, develops on the teeth. The development of plaque is natural and happens after eating and drinking. Plaque must be removed with daily brushing and flossing, but when plaque around the gum line isn’t removed, it turns into tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist. If the tartar develops and stays at or below the gum line, it can cause inflammation of the gums and lead to gum disease.
Symptoms of gum disease
Since gum disease is often painless, it is important to watch for other symptoms. Some common symptoms of periodontal disease are:
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen or red gums
- Tender gums
- Receding gums
- Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
- Pus surrounding your gums or teeth
- Loose teeth
At every preventative exam and teeth cleaning you have at Stephanie Murphy DDS, our dentist will perform an exam of your gum health to catch the early signs of gum disease.
Stages of gum disease
Gum disease varies in severity. During your appointment, your dentist will be able to determine which stage of gum disease you are experiencing to determine the best treatment plan for you.
- Gingivitis: Gingivitis is the mildest and earliest form of gum disease. At this stage, your gums will be inflamed because of the tartar build-up at the gum line. Since your bone and connective tissue is not compromised at this stage of gum disease, it can be completely reversed if treated properly.
- Periodontitis: At this stage of gum disease, the connective tissues are harmed, and the gum disease is irreversible. Persistent inflammation of the gums causes pockets between your teeth and gums that can fill with bacteria, plaque, and tartar. The infection can eventually cause degradation of tissue and bone.
- Advanced Periodontitis: At this stage, the tissues and bone are so badly degraded that they can cause your teeth to become loose. Depending on the severity of your case, the teeth may need to be removed. Your dentist at Stephanie Murphy DDS will work with you on a comprehensive treatment plan.
Gum disease treatment in Baltimore
When it comes to treating gum disease, the first thing your Baltimore dentist will have to consider is the stage of gum disease that you have. While gingivitis can be treated with diligent hygiene or an antibacterial toothpaste, periodontitis requires more aggressive treatment such as scaling and root planing. Our dentist will work closely with you to determine the appropriate treatment plan for you specifically.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, don’t wait any longer to get treatment. Call our office today to schedule your appointment!