Protecting Your Smile: Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Protecting Your Smile: Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

What Is Periodontal Disease?

It is one of the common oral problems at Smile Shine Dental, popularly known as gum disease. It features a bacterial infection affecting the tissues that support and surround teeth. Gum disease is caused by plaque buildup, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and gums. If left untreated long enough, the periodontal disease advances to a severe stage, requiring drastic treatment options. Often, gum disease is identified by various signs and symptoms depending on the stage of infection.

​What Are the Different Stages of Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a progressive condition. While it may start at the gums, it does not remain there. The longer you go without treatment, the further the infection spreads and worsens. Although there are two main stages of gum disease, they can be categorized further ranging from mild to severe:

  1. Gingivitis – is the earliest stage of the disease. It is characterized by inflammation of the gums. The symptoms include red, swollen, and bleeding gums, especially when brushing or flossing. Gingivitis is reversible with proper oral hygiene and professional dental care.
  2. Early periodontitis – the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place begin to break down due to unaddressed gingivitis. You may experience increased sensitivity, bad breath, and a receding gum line. Treatment at this stage typically involves scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums.
  3. Moderate periodontitis – as the disease progresses, pockets may start forming between the teeth and gums, allowing bacteria to accumulate and causing further damage to the bone and tissue. Symptoms at this stage are more advanced, including increased tooth mobility, pain, and abscesses. Dentists can offer treatments involving more extensive cleaning procedures, such as periodontal surgery, to remove bacteria and promote healing.
  4. Advanced periodontitis – is the most severe stage of periodontal disease. Your teeth may become loose or fall out due to extensive damage to the jawbone and gum tissue. You will experience severe pain, bleeding, and pus in the gums. Treatment at this stage entails drastic measures like tooth extraction, gum, and grafting to repair damaged tissues.

​How Can Patients Manage Pain And Discomfort During And After Periodontal Treatment?

Pain management is a big part of any successful dental procedure. During your periodontal treatment in Roseville, CA, You may not experience pain. The reason is that dentists incorporate local anesthesia beforehand to numb your mouth. This way, you will not experience sensitivity or discomfort as your dentist works on your gums. In some cases, dentists in Roseville, CA, also employ sedation dentistry. The role of sedation is to calm your nerves, relaxing your mind and body to remain still during the treatment.

However, after your periodontal treatment, the medications will wear off eventually. When they do, you may experience some discomfort. The sensitivity and pain are more noticeable during the first few days of recovery. The nature of treatment may also impact the longevity of your discomfort. Therefore, a dentist near you will recommend certain measures to manage your pain, including the following:

  1. ​Over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen – can help relieve pain and discomfort after periodontal treatment. Follow the recommended dosage and consult your dentist before taking any medication.
  2. Apply a cold compress to the affected area – they can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Use a cold pack or a bag of ice wrapped in a towel and apply it to the outside of the cheek for 10 to 20 minutes.
  3. Eat soft foods that are easy to chew and swallow, such as yogurt, soup, and mashed potatoes. Avoiding hard, crunchy, or sticky foods will prevent further irritation to the gums.
  4. Avoid smoking and alcohol – they can irritate the gums and delay healing. Avoid these habits for at least 24 hours after periodontal treatment.
  5. Use a saline rinse – a warm salt water rinse can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Mix one teaspoon of salt in warm water and swish it around the mouth for 30 to 60 seconds.
  6. Keep your mouth clean – proper oral hygiene is part of the post-treatment instructions, including how often to brush and floss. A clean mouth will disallow bacterial overgrowth that can risk infection and worsen the pain.
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