Gum Disease An Overview
Did you know that gum disease is easily preventable? If we catch the condition early, it is extremely treatable and even reversible. Dr. Benjamin Stevens of Beautiful Smiles near the Indianapolis, IN area can easily diagnose and treat gum disease through routine visits.
Stages of Gum Disease
There are two key stages of gum disease, each of which can have a progression of symptoms.
Gingivitis: This is the first stage of gum disease that is characterized by red, swollen, or irritated gums that may bleed when brushing your teeth. Bacteria typically cause it in the plaque that builds up around your gums. We can usually treat gingivitis conservatively with success to avoid further infection and damage.
Periodontitis: If gingivitis is left untreated, it will develop into periodontitis, the advanced stage of gum disease with complex symptoms including receding gums and loose teeth. In this stage of gum disease, the bacteria in the plaque actually cause the gums to become infected, damaging the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth.
Depending on the extent of damage or loss of tissue, we may recommend seeing a local periodontist restore gum health.
Gum Disease Symptoms
Typically, patients do not realize they have gum disease until the later stages when damage to the gums affects the teeth or gums become significantly irritated. Common signs of periodontal disease include:
- Bleeding gums
- Red, swollen, or sore gums
- Mouth sores
- Constant bad breath
- New spaces between teeth
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth or even Loss of teeth
Gum Disease Causes
Poor oral hygiene is a primary cause of gum disease, but there are a number of other contributing factors, including:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or menopause
- Certain medications
- Teeth grinding
- Poor nutrition
"Dr. Stevens and his staff are great.. I would highly recommend Beautiful Smiles."James
I have been going to Dr. Stevens for several years and through several different procedures. He and his staff has always been so professional and competent dealing with whatever I am needing help with. Recently I had to have a…Susan
"Dr. Stevens and staff have a good reputation. Now that I am patient I have to say they have a good reputation for a reason. Dr. Stevens is very friendly and the work he did on my mouth is amazing!…William M.
"I have always had positive experiences with Dr. Stevens and his staff. The quality of the care, attention to details, and professionalism far exceed my expectations. While I once was self-conscious about my teeth, he has helped transform it to…Michael K.
Gum Disease What to Expect
Gum Disease Treatment
After a complete evaluation of your oral health, Dr. Stevens will assess the stage of your gum disease at his Indianapolis dentist office. From there, he can then recommend treatment to address any possible damage and prevent further development.
If caught early in the gingivitis stage, we will set you up with more frequent teeth cleanings at our office. Dr. Stevens may also recommend specific products to help stave off the disease.
Dr. Stevens may recommend scaling and root planning if he diagnoses your issue as severe. This treatment method is an intensive dental cleaning that removes bacteria from the gums. Dr. Stevens will use special tools to scrape away plaque and tartar buildup and remove bacteria from the deep gum pockets where it forms.
Removing the bacteria from the pockets in the early stages of development can help prevent gum recession and tooth loss.
Patients with advanced gum disease (periodontitis) may be referred to a periodontist for more intense treatment or surgery. Dr. Stevens will work with the periodontist to coordinate a treatment plan that will alleviate your gum disease issues. Then, Dr. Stevens can restore your teeth that have been lost or damaged by the disease with restorative dentistry in his Indianapolis, IN office.