Smiling woman with rainbow hair and glasses.

Gum disease is something you’ll want to avoid, and proper dental care through your dentist here in Salisbury, as well as ongoing care at home, can mean that you’ll never have to deal with this condition!

However, even with regular teeth cleanings, the best dental care possible, and diligent home care, you may still develop gum disease. This could be because of a hereditary predisposition to developing issues with your gums, or simply because of reasons beyond your control.

There are several things we’d like to share with you about gum disease and its treatment. Read on to learn about the warning signs that something’s wrong with your gums, and what you and your dentist can do about it.

Very Early Stages

This is the best time to catch the disease before it progresses to a stage that’s more painful and harder to treat. At the early stages of gum disease, symptoms may include the following:

  • Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth
  • Tender or swollen gums
  • Gums are starting to appear as if they’re receding (pulling away from) your teeth

If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment at your dental clinic. Share with your dentist what you’ve noticed and what you’re experiencing. It’s very possible that at the earliest stages of gum disease, therapy can be limited to a thorough, deep cleaning by your dentist, followed by a regimen of remedial mouthwash (with antibiotic properties).

Early gum disease is referred to as gingivitis, and by aggressively treating it at this stage, you and your dentist can put an end to it before it escalates! Treating gum disease early on gives you the best chance of enjoying pain-free gums without the need for more involved treatments.

Middle Stages

During the middle stages of gum disease, symptoms become more severe, as you might expect. At this point, you may experience any of the following:

  • More pronounced gum swelling
  • Infected gums
  • Loose teeth or a change in your bite
  • Dentures that no longer fit properly
  • Gum and teeth pain

As you can see, the symptoms become more serious at the mid-stages. Loose teeth and a shifting bite are problematic and worrisome; however, don’t despair if you find yourself in this situation! Seek dental treatment right away. These symptoms can still be reversed in many patients, or at least, they can be minimized.

Treatment options may include what we’ve already mentioned, namely, teeth cleanings plus a medicated mouthwash to use over a period of time. Additional treatments may include oral antibiotics (to address any infections that may be present in your mouth) and periodontal scaling, a deep-cleaning procedure that removes plaque and tartar that have built up below the gumline and are often the main culprits behind gum disease.

By aggressively and proactively treating the disease even at this midstage, the outcome can be positive. It may take a couple of periodontal scalings to get all the plaque out, and it may need to be combined with other treatments and medications, but the prognosis can still be good.

Mother and child brushing their teeth.

Advanced Gum Disease

This is the toughest phase to treat, which is why dentists here in Salisbury, MD and all over the country can’t emphasize enough the importance of early intervention! But even at this late stage, options are available.

First, the symptoms. Here’s what you can expect with advanced gum disease:

  • Significant pain
  • Swollen, puffy, and uncomfortable gums
  • Frequently bleeding and infected gums
  • Teeth that are even looser
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Bright red or purple gums (normal is pinkish)
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Burning sensation in your mouth
  • Tooth loss (in the most severe cases)

Note that at this stage, gum disease is no longer called gingivitis. It has progressed to something called periodontitis, which is far more serious and is harder to treat successfully.

But as with all the previous stages, it’s important that you DO seek treatment. Not doing so will lead to even worse problems that can become chronic and debilitating. Don’t let gingivitis or periodontitis progress in severity or pain levels; treat issues with your gums as early as possible to alleviate symptoms and restore the health of your mouth!

Treatment options for advanced gum disease may include what we’ve already mentioned for the early and middle stages of gum disease. In addition, other available procedures patients may benefit from on a case-by-case basis include gum grafting, periodontal laser treatment, or dental implants, to name a few.

Your Dentist In Salisbury, Maryland

Here at Merritt Mill Dental Associates, we offer gum disease treatment along with other dental care services designed to keep your teeth, gums, and whole mouth as healthy as possible, serving you well throughout the years.

We’re here to treat your whole family through top-quality general and cosmetic dental services. If you or your loved ones are experiencing any teeth- or gum-related issues, including discomfort or sensitivity, give our dental clinic a call to schedule an appointment!