Periodontal (gum) disease is the largest disease in our country, affecting more Americans nationwide over other diseases including cancer, strokes and heart disease. Although most people don’t talk about it, gum disease is very prominent.
The Stages of Gum Disease
The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. Gum disease is caused by plaque and tartar buildup above and below the gumline. Once this buildup is present, bacteria and infection can quickly spread. Regular professional dental cleanings can help you avoid gum disease and catch signs of it early. When treated early, gum disease can typically be reversed with a professional cleaning and at-home oral hygiene. Symptoms of early gum disease include red, tender gums, and bleeding when you floss or brush.
Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. At this stage, your gum tissue and bone are at risk. The gum line will start to recede due to infection which can result in loose teeth and even tooth loss. Periodontitis can also affect your overall health, being linked to heart disease and high-blood pressure. With bacteria and infection present in your mouth, it can harm other parts of your body too. That is why it is important to keep up on your oral health by regularly visiting your dentist and maintaining healthy dental habits at home.
Solutions for Gum Disease
Gum disease at any stage can be treated, but not always cured. Depending on the level of gum disease, your dentist can examine your mouth and recommend the best treatment. Treatment options include:
If you are looking for care for gum disease, our team at Smiles West can help! Call today to schedule a visit!