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The gums are important supporting structures of your teeth that maintain the integrity of your oral cavity. Healthy gums can also enhance oral and facial aesthetics by imparting a beautiful smile. Any infection or inflammation affecting the gums can greatly compromise oral health and aesthetics. This is known as periodontal or gum disease.

Periodontal disease can be successfully treated by the dentist in Kings Mountain, NC, and their team based on the stage and severity of the condition. Scroll down to explore more about periodontal disease.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal, or gum disease is a common dental problem that results in the infection and inflammation of the gums and the bones that support your teeth. It is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. 

What causes periodontal disease?

Poor oral hygiene leads to increased bacterial colonization which forms an ideal environment for plaque adherence (a thin sticky coat formed on the tooth surface). The plaque over some time hardens to form calculus. This releases harmful toxins and acids that erode the gums, and if left untreated it may spread to the underlying bone

Risk factors:

  • Family history 
  • Diabetes 
  • Unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking, excess alcoholism, and other forms of tobacco use 
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause 
  • Autoimmune disorders like lupus
  • Certain medications like antibiotics, and tetracyclines

What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

You may experience any of the following symptoms when suffering from periodontal disease:

  • Red, swollen, and engorged gums
  • Discoloration of your gums (reddish, purplish, or greenish)
  • Bleeding gums 
  • Gum recession 
  • Increase tooth sensitivity due to exposed tooth roots
  • The tooth appears longer than normal due to exposure to the tooth roots
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Metallic taste
  • Malocclusion or misalignment
  • Loose teeth 

How is periodontal disease treated?

Several treatment options are available based on the severity and stage of the disease.

Mild to moderate cases

  • Professional cleaning involving supragingival, subgingival scaling, and root planing
  • Medications that include antibiotic gels and mouth rinse
  • Pocket irrigation 

Moderate to severe cases 

  • Pocket elimination surgery: Excising, and reattaching the lost gingival tissue to its original position 
  • Tissue regeneration: To rehabilitate and revitalize damaged tissue structure through PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy
  • Gum grafting: Gingival tissue grafts are extracted from other areas of the oral cavity to replace the lost gum tissues
  • Bone grafting: Bone grafts are used to restore the jawbone thickness and volume 
  • Dental implants: Permanent posts that provide a strong anchorage to restorations like crowns, and bridges to replace missing teeth lost due to periodontal disease

Consult your dentist at the earliest sign of periodontal disease for further course of action. Do not ignore your oral health!