People often overlook their oral health. Experiencing symptoms like swollen gums might go unchecked if not accompanied by pain. However, swollen gums might be a sign of periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection of your gums that can cause symptoms like bad breath, tooth sensitivity, toothaches, and swollen gums.
Periodontal disease is common, affecting up to 50% of adults who are 30 years old or older.
Worried your swollen gums might be caused by periodontal disease? At LivWell Dentistry in San Francisco and San Ramon, California. Dr. Wenli Loo and Dr. Steve Deng are skilled dentists, offering expert and personalized care for periodontal disease and other oral health problems.
Learn more about the signs of periodontal disease and what you can do about it.
Signs of periodontal disease
Some of the most common signs of periodontal or gum disease include:
- Swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Teeth sensitivity
- Bleeding when you brush or floss
- Pus in your gums
- Red and tender gums
- A shift in your jaw’s alignment
Causes of periodontal disease
Poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of gum disease and other oral health concerns. When you fail to practice good oral hygiene, like brushing regularly and scheduling routine visits to your dentist, plaque and bacteria build up in your mouth.
With time, plaque buildup forms into tartar, which needs to be removed professionally by your dentist.
Other causes and risk factors for the development of gum disease are:
- Family history of gum disease
- Habitual smoking
- Poor nutrition
- Hormonal changes
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Having immune system conditions like HIV
- Heart disease
- Missing appointments with your dentist
Can I prevent periodontal disease?
Yes, it’s possible to prevent gum disease from developing. The first things to do are to prioritize your oral hygiene and adopt good oral hygiene habits. These include:
- Brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day
- Using antibacterial mouthwash
- Regular flossing to prevent plaque buildup between your teeth
- Quitting bad habits like smoking and drinking alcohol excessively
- Scheduling routine appointments with your dentist
Treatment for periodontal disease
If you have swollen gums or other signs of gum disease, the good news is that they can be treated. Treatment options depend on the severity of your infection.
Treatment begins with a trip to your dentist for deep professional cleaning to remove plaque and tartar buildup.
If there are any signs of infection, your dentist may prescribe antibacterial medication to deal with it. In severe cases, your dentist may perform surgery to remove and replace infected gum tissues.
We can help you treat and manage periodontal disease and other oral health concerns here at LivWell Dentistry. Call us at 415-477-3700, or schedule an appointment on our website.