Periodontal Disease Symptoms, Problems, and Remedies
Dr. Anasinski – November 2009
Gum disease or periodontal disease can escalate into such a potentially serious problem that it endangers overall dental health and well being while also leading to many other serious health conditions including coronary disease. So it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of gum disease, so that if they appear you can take immediate steps to remedy them.
Healthy gums are pink in color and should not hurt or be sensitive to the touch, and they should not bleed easily. If you brush your teeth with a dentist-recommended soft bristle toothbrush in the correct manner, for example, it should not make your gums hurt or bleed. If they do that may be one of the preliminary signs that you have infected gums. Swelling is another telltale symptom, because it indicates that the circulation in the periodontal tissue is not normal and that the gum tissue is trying to fight off harmful bacteria.
But the good news is that you do not have to worry about constantly being on the lookout for numerous signs and symptoms of gum tissue, as long as you remain under the care of a qualified dentist or periodontist and keep routine appointments. During these checkups – while the dental hygienist cleans and polishes your teeth – he or she will also check your gums and report any warning signs to the dentist.
Dentists, Periodontists and their dental hygienists use various special tools to perform gum health evaluations, including tiny probes that can slip down beneath the surface of the gum line to remove bacteria or trapped food particles. They also have small instruments with which they measure the space between the gums and the teeth, so that if the gum tissue is starting to recede too far away from the white tooth enamel they will notice this and take corrective steps. Periodontal tissue tends to do this with age, so receding gums is a common diagnosis for those who are older.
When signs of periodontal disease are discovered, there are numerous ways to attack the problem and return your gums to their optimum level of health. Advanced dental technology allows dentists to use lasers for less intrusive and less painful removal of infected gum tissue, for example, and many periodontal problems can be fixed quickly and heal rapidly.
Cosmetic dentistry is also concerned with the periodontals. There are sophisticated procedures now available, for instance, to do such things as sculpting of gums for people who feel that their smile is too “gummy” and want to have some of the gum that hides the tooth removed for a more attractive appearance. If you have any questions about your periodontal health or the treatments available to you, just ask your dentist.
Meanwhile the best way to take good care of gums is to follow the normal guidelines for oral hygiene. Brush with a dentist-recommended tooth brush after every meal, floss on a regular basis, and be sure to eat a healthy balanced diet of vitamin and mineral rich foods that support overall nutritional wellness. Drink plenty of water, get as much exercise as possible, and don’t hesitate to contact your dentist if you have any concerns or questions regarding your dental health and how to maintain healthy periodontals.