Healthy gums (gingiva) are usually pale, pink in color and firm, and the foundation upon which our teeth reside. Red, inflamed and bleeding gums may be an early warning sign that gum disease is present, esthetically unattractive and can cause bad breath.
Almost all patients have some form of gum disease ranging from mild gingivitis to periodontitis. Gingivitis means the gums are inflamed. This is usually caused by bacteria, leftover food particles and saliva creating a sticky substance commonly known as plaque. The bacteria present in the plaque excrete acids irritating the gums causing inflammation.
Periodontitis means gums are inflamed and calcified plaque, known as tarter is adhering to the tooth’s surface which is potentially causing deterioration of the bone supporting your teeth.
To properly diagnose gum disease we probe the gingiva, a painless examination, measuring and assessing the gums and their relation to the teeth and bone.
Many patients I diagnose with gum disease will remark “It doesn’t hurt, why do I need gum treatment?” Thankfully gum disease is rarely associated with discomfort, but left untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss. Good news! Early intervention is easy, can be treated with little to no discomfort and easily maintained with good brushing technique, and seeing your hygienist on a more frequent schedule to monitor your condition assuring your dental health is on track.