Healthy gums are just as important as healthy teeth, and, in fact, the two are closely related. At Mountain Peak Dentistry in Lakewood, Colorado, board certified periodontist, Dr. Lai, provides periodontics services to diagnose and treat gum conditions. If your gums have been bothering you, get treatment before it turns into a serious problem. To make an appointment, call the office or use the online booking feature.
Over time, without proper oral hygiene, plaque and tartar build-up and the bacteria hanging around your mouth can cause gum disease. Gum disease may range in severity from an uncomfortable inflammation of your gums to a loss of gum tissue and jawbone that causes your teeth to fall out.
The severity of gum disease usually depends on how long it’s gone untreated, but if it’s caught early, Dr. Lai can help keep it from progressing and restore the health of your gums.
You may think of gingivitis as a more scientific term for gum disease, but actually, gingivitis specifically refers to the first stage of gum disease. With gingivitis, your gums are swollen, inflamed, and may bleed when you brush or floss; in fact, the condition often gets worse because people find oral hygiene too painful and begin to neglect it. Your teeth may also become more sensitive, and you may develop chronic halitosis (bad breath).
Though the symptoms of gingivitis are unpleasant, you don’t have to worry about your teeth falling out or losing gum tissue. But it does mean you need to take better care of your gums because untreated gingivitis can turn into periodontitis, the advanced stage of gum disease.
Periodontitis means you’re at risk of losing your teeth as the tissue and bones have become damaged. The condition also causes more severe swelling, inflammation, and bleeding than is the case with gingivitis.
Gum disease treatment depends on how far the condition has progressed, which Dr. Lai diagnoses by examining the pockets under your teeth and checking for inflammation, bleeding, loose teeth, and bone loss. If you have early stage gingivitis, you may simply need to improve your oral hygiene with special attention to your gums, including brushing twice a day, properly flossing, and cutting down on your intake of sugar, starches, and carbonated beverages.
Dr. Lai may also recommend you come in for periodontal cleaning appointments, in addition to your regular teeth cleanings, so he can check on your gum health and stop plaque and tartar from building up. With good oral hygiene habits, you can reverse gingivitis and prevent it from coming back.
Periodontitis is a major oral disease and requires more advanced treatment. As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Lai is experienced in treating severe gum disease, including through special deep cleanings called scaling and root planning, and through surgery such as a gum graft to restore tissue and bone.
If your gums have been bothering you, call Mountain Peak Dentistry or schedule an appointment online with Dr. Lai today.