Tooth Pain? It Might Be Something Worse

cosmetic dentist

You know how people always say that your gums shouldn’t bleed when you floss? You ignore them and continue to floss a couple times a week and brush off the fact that your gums are swollen and there’s a little redness on the string cozied up among the plaque.

Unfortunately, these are early signs that you may have periodontal disease. It’s especially common in people over 65 years of age — over 70% have periodontal disease. But what is it?

The Basics

Let’s break down the phrase periodontal. “Peri” means “around,” while “odontal” is anything having to do with your teeth. Put the two together and it basically refers to anything directly around the teeth, and it’s a lot more than just the teeth and gums.

If serious enough, periodontal disease can affect the gums, the cementum (the bone-like material that covers the roots of your teeth), the alveolar bone (the bone that holds your tooth the socket), and the periodontal ligament (the connective tissue between the cementum and alveolar bone).

The earliest stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis, a disease that only affects the gums.

Warning Signs

Remember those aforementioned swollen and bleeding gums? This means your gums are reacting to an infection of bacteria, making them swollen and angry. This is an early sign that gingivitis infection has begun. If nothing is done to stop the spread of infection, periodontal disease may occur, resulting in the need for surgery and a visit to the cosmetic dentist once you’ve healed.

Worst-Case Scenario

Gingivitis doesn’t always lead to periodontitis, but it can have disastrous effects if it does. If you’re suffering from periodontal disease, this inflammation will eventually damage the bones and tissues surrounding your teeth. Pockets can form between the tooth and the gums, causing loosened teeth or even resulting in tooth loss. Visit the dentist at the earliest signs of gingivitis to prevent it from spreading.

Prevention

Brushing your teeth is the best way to prevent bacteria from infecting your gums. It’s recommended that you scrub gently, in short, horizontal motions to get rid of bacteria and plaque accumulation at the gumline. Small brushes are great to reach the back of the mouth in those hard-to-reach places. Purchasing an electric toothbrush with an oscillating head has been found to work effectively against plaque build-up and gingivitis.

Combine this brushing method with regular mouth rinses and flossing to dislodge plaque.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Periodontal disease is notorious for causing tooth damage. If you lose teeth because of the disease, you might need to visit a cosmetic dentist to discuss your options after the infection has healed and your gums become healthy again.

Your cosmetic dentist will give you options for implants, teeth whitening procedures, and other options regarding cosmetic dentistry when you visit. Implants are a great way to keep your smile looking straight and fresh after going through a painful experience. Visit a cosmetic dentist in your area if you want to improve your dental health and ask questions regarding dental implants today.