Gum DiseaseAn Overview
Dr. Melissa Elliott is a family dentist in the Bel Air, MD area. Her primary focus is to prevent and treat gum disease and other periodontal concerns. Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults. That’s why the team at Harford County Dentistry emphasizes the importance of gum health with diligent oral hygiene, regular visits to the dentist, and bi-annual dental cleanings. Dr. Elliott will look for the signs of gum disease with the goal of catching it early to avoid the development of complex problems down the road.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease is a term that encompasses both gingivitis (gum disease) and periodontitis (disease of the gum, bone, and other supporting structures of the tooth). Along with tooth decay (a tooth cavity) it is one of the leading causes for tooth loss. More than three-quarters of adults are affected by gum disease, which is mostly caused by bacterial plaque build-up. Other contributing factors to gum disease may include teeth grinding, TMJ dysfunction, tobacco use, hormonal changes (as in pregnancy or menopause), and poor nutrition. It is crucial to seek treatment for gum disease at our Bel Air, MD dentist office as soon as you see signs of periodontal disease.
Common signs of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen or sore gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Mouth sores or pus between gums and teeth
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Changes in the fit of dentures
★★★★★ I was very timid and anxious about going to the dentist because it had been a while since I was treated, and I knew I had a lot of issues that needed to be dealt with. All of the staff were very warm and welcoming and really made me…Z.
★★★★★ I certainly feel that you listened t my every concern and addressed it completely. I would highly recommend Harford County Dentistry or future referrals. I am seeing Dr Melissa Elliott and she is wonderful; as is everyone in the office. To say they made a good impression on me…S.
Gum Disease What to Expect
Stages of Gum disease
There are two stages of gum disease, each of which can have a progression of symptoms. Most patients do not realize they have gum disease until the later stages, when damage to the gums affects the teeth or gums become significantly irritated. This is why it’s crucial to have Dr. Elliott perform a thorough exam for gum disease in her Bel Air, MD dentist office.
Gingivitis: An early stage gum disease, gingivitis is typically easy to treat but may require additional at home care to prevent it from returning. Patients with recurring gingivitis may benefit from more frequent dental cleanings in our dentist office.
Periodontitis: An advanced stage of gum disease, periodontitis can cause permanent damage to gum tissue and weaken the teeth. This often requires intensive treatment to address damage and restore oral health.
Gum Disease Treatment
Depending on your gum disease symptoms, Dr. Elliott offers several gum disease treatment options. If you have early signs of gum disease you may benefit from intensive teeth cleaning known as scaling and root planning. During this procedure, the dental hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from the deep pockets of the gum.
For patients with missing teeth as a result of gum disease, there are a number of replacement options including dental implants, dental bridges, and dentures.
Schedule an Appointment
If you have sore gums or bleeding gums, schedule an appointment for a periodontal screening and consultation. We offer treatment for patients with gum disease in the Bel Air, MD and Fallston, MD area. We gladly welcome new patients.