Aesthetic & Comprehensive Dentistry
Gum disease is considered inflammation of the gums that surround the teeth. If left untreated, gum disease can affect the ability of your gums to attach to the teeth. As this disease progresses, the gum recession can eventually leave the root of the tooth exposed to bacteria, and the tooth may eventually become loose or fall out.
In order to treat gum disease, it is important to have a better understanding. This can help you identify or avoid the disease when it is a smaller problem and more easily treatable.
There are typically three different stages of gum disease. These are gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Let’s look at each one a little more closely.
Gingivitis – Gingivitis is considered the first stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is caused by a buildup of bacteria and plaque along the gumline. This condition causes inflammation, irritation, and bleeding from the gums. Patients may notice that their gums bleed when they brush or floss. Many people believe that bleeding from the gums is normal. One study found that more than half of Americans over the age of 30 had gum disease, leading to a perception by many people that bleeding gums is natural. If you have bleeding gums, schedule an appointment with your dentist today.
Periodontitis – This condition is when the infection around the gums has further progressed. Now the bones and supporting structure that supports your teeth has become infected. This can affect the ability of the bone to support the teeth. At this point, the structure of your teeth and jaw has become irreversibly damaged. Your gums can recede or separate from the teeth creating pockets that trap more particles and bacteria that can cause further harm. However, intervention from a dentist at this point can help stop further damage or deterioration.
Gum disease can be identified at any stage, but the earlier that it is caught, the more successful intervention can be. Early detection also helps to reduce the potential for significant damage or deterioration of your teeth and underlying structure.
Gingivitis is generally easy to identify for most patients, and you may recognize some of the symptoms in yourself. If you have any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Gums that are irritated, red, swollen or tender
Bleeding gums during brushing, flossing, or eating
Gums that have receded exposing more of the tooth
Pocketed gums, where the gums have pulled away from the tooth
Changes in your bite pattern or how your teeth fit together
Pus from in between your teeth and gums
Consistent bad breath that is not alleviated with brushing or mouthwash
There are many things that you can do to stop or reverse gum disease. When caught in the early stages, sometimes a general routine of brushing twice daily, and flossing daily can help to clear any bacteria. A professional cleaning from your dentist also helps to remove built-up tartar and plaque.
Catching and treating gum disease at the earliest point in time helps to ensure that getting back to a clean bill of health. If you suspect that you might have gum disease at any of the stages, it is important to schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. Your dentist can give you a complete assessment and go through treatment options to identify the best solution for you. Call to schedule an appointment today with Le Smile Aesthetic and Comprehensive Dentsitry.