In its early stages, gum disease causes your gums to become sore, a little red, and a bit swollen. At this stage, you can treat gum disease without much help from your dentist. A little mouthwash, better toothbrushing tactics, and daily flossing, and your gums should be feeling better soon. But how do you know when gum disease has moved past that early stage, and how do you treat it in that later stage? Read on to find out.

Signs of More Advanced Gum Disease

The primary sign that your gum disease has progressed past the early stage is the appearance of pockets between your teeth and gums. It may look like your gums are sagging downward. Because the lower portion of your teeth are exposed, you will experience some sensitivity when you drink hot or cold beverages. This is because the nerves in your teeth are closer to the surface in the lower portions of your teeth.

Another sign of more advanced gum disease is extensive bleeding when brushing. In early gum disease, you may see a spot of blood now and then, but more extensive bleeding indicates a more advanced case. You may actually find brushing your teeth to be painful.

Treatment for Advanced Gum Disease

If you suspect you may have gum disease, you should visit a dentist for a diagnosis. Based on their findings, they will recommend one of the following treatments.

Scaling and Planing

Scaling and planing is a procedure in which your dentist cleans the surface of your tooth below the gumline. This is usually necessary in cases of advanced gum disease because the pockets trap bacteria in this area. You will be given a local anesthetic before your teeth are cleaned since this can be a painful procedure.

Pocket Reduction Surgery

The other primary treatment for advanced gum disease is pocket reduction surgery. Your dentist may remove some extra gum tissue and stitch your gums back into place, eliminating the pockets. If you have a scaling procedure done, the pocket reduction will probably be done at the same time. Your gums may be a bit sore for a few days, and you will have to stick to soft foods, but recovery is quite straightforward.

Gum Grafts

If your gums have receded significantly, leaving the bottom of your teeth exposed, your dentist may remove some tissue from the roof of your mouth and graft it to your gums. This will help protect your teeth and protect against future gum disease.

Do not ignore gum disease, especially if you suspect your case is in the more advanced stages. Talk to your dentist about gum surgery treatment services to learn more.