Gum Disease Q&A

Do you have swollen, irritated gums? You may have gum disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a common but highly damaging dental problem that can lead to gum recession and tooth loss. If you are unsure if you have gum disease or what you can do to treat gum disease in Annapolis, MD, explore answers to these commonly asked questions.

Q&A: Gum Disease in Annapolis

Many patients may ask these questions about gum disease:

What are plaque and tartar?

Plaque is a thin bacterial film that can cover teeth and gums. Over time, as plaque hardens, it becomes tartar, also known as calculus. Plaque and tartar irritate the gum tissue and lead to periodontitis or gum disease.

Why do my gums bleed when I brush my teeth?

If your gums bleed when you brush and floss, you may have gingivitis or gum inflammation. Gingivitis is a precursor to gum disease that many patients deal with on a daily basis. Remembering to floss and brush twice daily can help reverse bleeding gums and other signs of gingivitis.

What are scaling and root planing?

This deep-cleaning treatment uses dental tools to remove plaque and tartar from the gums and tooth roots. We smooth down the tooth roots and clean gum pockets during scaling and root planing treatment.

What are the stages of gum disease?

There are 4 main stages of gum disease:

  • Initial: Signs of inflamed and bleeding gums. Patients can reverse gum disease in its initial stage.
  • Moderate: As gum disease spreads, there are beginning signs of permanent damage to the gum tissue. Although this damage is permanent, a professional can help minimize gum tissue damage.
  • Severe with the potential for tooth loss: Marked by gum recession, bad breath, and sometimes loose teeth. Patients will need to see a periodontist for specialized care.
  • Severe gum disease with tooth loss: Patients experience tooth loss and deep gum pockets. In the most severe stages of gum disease, patients may need dental implant treatment to replace their permanent teeth.

Can you live with gum disease?

Yes, if you have chronic gum health problems and continually have symptoms of gum disease, a professional can help. A dental professional can slow the progression of moderate gum disease to help prevent the need for restorative care. Even if you have severe gum disease, dental implants look and feel like natural teeth, so you will not lose functionality. Our team works with patients individually to find solutions to their gum problems and keep gum disease in check.

Treat gum disease today. Call the Annapolis Center for Dental Health and Wellness at (443) 482-5202. On our website, you can also schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Vernon Sheen. Let Dr. Sheen know if you have any questions or current concerns. He will be glad to assist you.