Bad Gums, Bad Future
Gums stretch out and recede from the teeth when suffering from periodontitis, or severe gum disease. Bacteria that hasn’t been eliminated through brushing and flossing turns into plaque, which sticks to the teeth and travels below the gum line. Here it will build up and push the gum tissue away from the teeth, forming a sort of pocket.
Other than periodontal pockets, symptoms of gum disease include:
• Red gums
• Swollen and puffy gums
• Bleeding when cleaning the teeth or eating
• Loose teeth
A mild case, or gingivitis, may be able to be treated with a regular dental cleaning and more attentive dental hygiene practices. If the case has developed past this point, at least one procedure will be necessary.
The first tactic a periodontist will employ is a scaling and root planing. This is the removal of plaque and tartar from just at and just below the gum line, cleaning both the teeth and the periodontal pockets on the roots. If this is not successful, gum flap surgery is usually performed next. This surgical method requires the lifting of the gums away from the teeth to better access the harmful substances on the roots.
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