Unless you are six or seven years old, having a loose tooth is not a good thing. In fact, if your teeth feel mobile, it's a good idea to contact your Des Moines dentist right away for an examination, as you may be suffering from periodontal (gum) disease.
What Is Gum Disease?
Primarily an infection of your gums and bone, gum disease impacts the support system for your teeth. The infection starts by causing inflammation in your gums, which may bleed when you're brushing or flossing, and it gradually advances to your jawbone, which can result in tooth loss. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults.
If we catch gum disease in its early stages, you can often successfully manage it with a thorough professional teeth cleaning and an improved home care routine. In some cases, this may reverse your condition. Regular visits to your dentist every six months for cleanings and dental checkups also help to prevent gum disease since we screen you for it during every examination.
Signs of gingivitis to be aware of are:
- Red, irritated, or swollen gums
- Bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth
- Chronic bad breath that doesn't go away with brushing or mouth rinse
Advanced gum disease is known as periodontitis. In this stage, you may feel your teeth becoming mobile or notice your gums receding. You may also notice pain or tenderness when chewing or a foul taste in your mouth.
This stage of gum disease requires a deep cleaning called scaling and root planing to remove the plaque and tartar buildup that is causing your infection from below your gum line. Your Des Moines dentist may also recommend antibiotics to combat the infection. Severe cases of periodontitis may require surgery.
If your teeth are feeling mobile, or you're noticing other signs of gum disease, don't hesitate to call Dr. Phan and your dental team in Des Moines right away.