Gum Disease Care in Austin
Periodontal disease is caused by bacterial plaque that forms on teeth. Bacterial plaque will irritate gums, causing them to become red, tender, and swollen. If not removed, plaque hardens to form tartar. Over time, the tissue that attaches the gums to the teeth is destroyed and the gums pull away from the teeth. Small pockets form between the teeth and gums and fill with more plaque. Eventually, the jawbone supporting the teeth is destroyed.
Periodontal disease is usually painless so most adults are unaware they have it. But if you are diagnosed early, your teeth can be saved.
Other cofactors of periodontal disease are smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, improper use of dental floss and toothpicks, genetics, improper bite pattern, grinding and clenching your teeth an unbalanced diet, vitamin C deficiency, pregnancy and certain medications. Warning signs to look out for are gums that bleed when you brush your teeth, red, swollen or receding gums, pus between teeth, loose teeth, bad breath, and a change in your bite or the way your partial dentures fit.
The type of treatment required depends on the stage of gum disease development. Your periodontist in Austin will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the level of disease. In the early stages of periodontititis, your periodontist will recommend professional cleanings on a timely basis and will give instructions for daily brushing and flossing. When gum disease is more serious, your periodontist will recommend a more surgically-based technique or a laser-based technique to address the diseased gum and affected bone. Surgically-based techniques will be aimed at either reshaping and redesigning of the bone and gum tissue or at regenerating the lost bone. Your periodontist will discuss with you which treatment options are indicated for your individual concerns and/or goals. Tooth loss will occur if the disease process has progressed too much or if a person elects to not have periodontal disease treatment. If a tooth is lost, your periodontist and restorative periodontist can discuss options for replacing them.
People usually don`t show signs of gum disease until they are in their 30s or 40s. Men are more likely to have periodontal disease than women. Although teenagers rarely develop periodontitis, they can develop gingivitis, the milder form of gum disease. Most commonly, gum disease develops when plaque is allowed to build up along and under the gum line.
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Pus between your teeth
- Pain when chewing
- Calculus or tartar build-up
- Changes in bite - Loose or shifting teeth
- Bad breath or chronic bad taste
- Teeth sensitivity to hot or cold
- Gums that recede or gums that shrink away from your teeth
- Smoking and tobacco chewing
- A weakened immune system (such as from AIDS and HIV)
- Heart disease
- A family history of periodontal disease
- Using certain medications (such as oral contraceptives, steroids, blood pressure medications, seizure medications and certain cancer-fighting drugs)
- Unbalanced diet
- Abnormal oral conditions or habits (such as badly aligned teeth, defective fillings or teeth grinding)