Cavities are a common dental problem that many patients are familiar with, but it is not the only condition that can negatively impact the health of the smile. At McDowell Dental Group, we also educate patients on the ways to prevent another condition that can cause far more damage to the teeth and gums: periodontal disease.
What is periodontal disease?
Drs. Gary McDowell and Ashley McDowell of Abington, PA describes periodontal disease, or “gum disease,” as an infection that can impact the smile dramatically. The condition is caused by bacteria that grows along the gum line, specifically in pockets that form between shrinking gum tissue and the natural teeth. These pockets allow bacteria to multiply and result in an infection, causing red, swollen gums that may bleed when patients brush or floss. This early stage, known as gingivitis, can be easily reversed with a proper diagnosis and treatment at the dental office. If left untreated, the condition can spread and worsen, causing the loss of gums, bone, and teeth.
What treatment options are available?
The treatment option recommended by a dentist will vary depending on the severity of the condition. Periodontal disease develops in stages, and the later stages may require more invasive therapies such as scaling and root planing or antibiotics. Controlling the infection is the first step, and then managing the condition is a lifelong goal.
What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?
The symptoms present in a patient with periodontal disease will vary depending on the stage at which the condition has reached. Some of the more common symptoms seen include:
- Swollen and red gums
- Bleeding when brushing and flossing
- Persistent bad breath
- Pocket formation between gums and teeth
- Loose or lost teeth
- Bone loss in the jaw
- Receding gum tissues
Call McDowell Dental Group to learn more about periodontal disease
If you believe you are dealing with a condition such as periodontal disease and are interested in seeking a definitive diagnosis and treatment recommendations, contact Drs. Gary McDowell and Ashley McDowell to find out more about therapies used to address this infection. The practice is conveniently located at 1047 Old York Road and can be reached by calling (215) 885-0555.