Recognizing and Treating the Symptoms of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a common problem, affecting approximately half of the adult population in the United States and 70 percent of people over the age of 65. Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease can range from mild to severe. The good news is that gum disease treatment in Westlake, OH, can reverse mild to moderate cases before more serious oral health problems occur.

Common Gum Disease Symptoms

When your gums are healthy, they are firm to the touch and form a secure seal around your teeth. Gum disease causes multiple symptoms, including those listed below.

  • Chronic bad breath
  • Gums appear purple or dark red
  • Gums bleed easily, especially after brushing your teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • New spaces or gaps between teeth
  • Pain when chewing food
  • Pimples or pus on your gum line
  • Recession of gums, which means the tissue pulls away from the teeth
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Teeth do not fit together properly

Poor oral hygiene is the primary cause of gum disease. Bacteria in your mouth create plaque and tartar on your teeth and can travel down into your gums between teeth, causing inflammation. Smoking, having diabetes, taking oral contraceptives, genetics, and certain chronic diseases can also increase the risk of developing gum disease.

Gum Disease Treatment Options

At Walter R. Below DMD, Inc., gum disease treatment in Westlake, OH, typically consists of scaling, root planing, or both. Scaling involves Dr. Below using a handheld dental instrument to scrape bacteria from the roots of your teeth, just below the surface of your gum line. If you have root planing performed, he smoothens the surface of your teeth to prevent a buildup of bacteria.

Brushing and flossing at least twice a day and visiting our dental practice bi-annually are the best ways to keep gum disease at bay.