What are some common gum diseases, and what do those gum disease treatment options look like?
There are basically three different levels of gum disease – mild, moderate, and severe – and the gum disease treatment options vary depending on the level. The first symptom that people would notice at home is bleeding gums. This is considered pre-gum disease which is called gingivitis. A lot of times patients will say, “I know that my gums bleed when I brush or floss.” That’s the biggest sign.
One analogy I like to use is that this issue is like if you’re washing your hands and your hands start bleeding, you know that you’ve got an active infection. It’s the exact same thing with your teeth. If you’re brushing your teeth and your gums are bleeding, you know that there’s some active infection in there. Now it may be one small, little area that just needs a little extra love and care at home. Or it may be that you do need to have full periodontal treatment.
We usually try to come up with a specific plan for somebody who has periodontal disease. We’ll address it half of the mouth at a time with a couple weeks in between to make sure that we get everything clean. We also ensure that patients know how to get in there and effectively clean at home so that they can have lasting results.
What is the difference between mild, moderate, and severe?
We differentiate that by some exams that we do here in the office and basically the depth of bone loss. Even mild periodontal disease indicates some degree of bone loss. The key is starting treatment at the first signs of any problems to prevent additional bone loss.