Early-stage gum disease, or gingivitis, is easy to treat at home or in a dentist's office. However, if it goes on for too long, it can progress to a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis. When this happens, only a dentist can help you to reverse your condition. If you're not sure if you're at that stage yet or not, here's what you need to know.
Many people with periodontitis notice that they seem to have chronically bad breath. This is typically because the gums are being slowly destroyed by bacteria. As gum tissue dies, it leaves behind a bad smell. You may also be smelling pus that's coming out of your gums as the immune system attempts to battle the same bacteria that's causing gum disease. Typically, this isn't a symptom of gingivitis.
People with gingivitis sometimes experience bleeding from the gums, but it's usually minor and something you only taste, not see. Periodontitis is different. This condition usually causes significant bleeding from the gums that you can see, taste, and find on your toothbrush or floss.
The reason your gums bleed more when you have periodontitis is because more of the tissue of your gums have been damaged.
Doesn't Get Better
The final sign that you have an advanced form of gum disease is that it doesn't seem to get better when you try to take care of it at home. Common treatments for gingivitis at home like brushing more, flossing, and using a saltwater rinse won't help significantly with periodontitis. If you've been trying to do better with your oral hygiene and you're not seeing any significant improvement or change, then chances are you have advanced gum disease.
Gum disease is a significant problem for a lot of people, but it's one that can be easily treated with the help of a professional. Consider visiting with periodontist — as the name implies, they're pros at treating gum disease and other problems with the gums.
Your treatment will depend upon the severity of your gum disease. Your dentist may be able to reverse it with a deep cleaning and a spectrum of antibiotics. However, if it's particularly severe, surgical removal of the damaged tissue may be necessary in order for you to fully heal. In this instance, a tissue graft will be used to rebuild the removed gum tissue. Make the call to get help today.
For more information, contact a periodontist in your area.