Dentists recommend proper oral hygiene from a young age to achieve good dental health for a lifetime. This is important for cosmetic reasons, but also to maintain overall health. One of the consequences of not brushing and flossing correctly is gum disease, which is also known as periodontal disease. This condition originally affects the gums,…
A Guide to the Stages of Gum Disease
Any dentist will say that gum disease is a serious matter. Neglecting treatment for it can lead to more significant problems for your oral health. Your overall well-being could also suffer from the effects of periodontitis. If you are unfamiliar with this condition, it is helpful to understand the causes, symptoms, and the ways a general dentist can treat it. The disease comes in different stages, each posing challenges and health risks.
The importance of good oral hygiene
From the time a person is young, parents, teachers, and caregivers should stress having good dental habits. People should brush at least twice a day with fluoride-based toothpaste. It is especially crucial to brush after meals for about two minutes. Brushing can remove plaque from teeth and prevents cavities.
Flossing is equally vital for a person’s oral wellness. This activity dislodges food particles from in between teeth. It keeps teeth and gums healthy and strong. Daily flossing will eliminate the buildup of bacteria, which is the culprit of gum diseasesstarting in a person’s mouth. Other helpful habits include rinsing daily with a mouthwash and seeing the general dentist twice a year.
When a person does not floss regularly or effectively, gingivitis can start. This is the beginning stage of gum disease, which is characterized by red, tender gums. The gums may swell and bleed during brushing or eating. There can even be some gum pain. Improved efforts in brushing and flossing can reverse the effects of gingivitis. If the dentist and patient identify this condition early and treat it, the individual can enjoy healthy-looking gums again.
When a person only flosses and brushes occasionally, the gingivitis can advance. When this happens, the person will have plaque buildup on the teeth and at the gumline. The bleeding will become more frequent and serious. Even with more focused flossing and brushing, it may be difficult to fight advanced gingivitis.
As bacteria causes plaque, it may start to harden, which leads to tartar developing around the teeth. A person cannot remove tartar by flossing and brushing. Instead, the dentist must remove this with professional methods. Tartar will attack the teeth and gums, causing destruction. At this stage, the person’s breath may begin to smell foul. The gums also may begin to recede, and the person could have a gummy smile.
This stage of gum disease requires immediate attention. The dentist will use techniques such as scaling and root planing to remove the tartar. Without treatment, the patient could experience tooth loss or gum loss. Infections can develop, which can affect the person’s mouth, face, and entire body. In the most severe cases, the dentist may need to perform oral surgery to treat the disease.
Do not fall prey to gum disease
Now is the time to take this disease seriously. Brush and floss daily, and make it a priority to see the dentist. If you notice any signs or symptoms of gum disease, get help right away. Your dentist can treat it in all stages.
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