The CDC reports that almost half of adults in the United States have a form of gum disease, also known as periodontitis or periodontal disease. For adults over 65, this number increases to 70%. This rampant disease is largely preventable, yet the subtle signs and symptoms in the early stages leave many patients unaware that…
What Are the Stages of Gum Disease?
If you have gum disease, you might notice there is bleeding when you floss or brush. That is a red flag you should not ignore because of how severe the condition is. It is critical to understand how to know if you have the disease. Keep reading to learn more about gum disease and how to recognize it.
About gum disease
The condition is gum inflammation caused by bacteria that have gone under the gumline. That might eventually affect the bone around the teeth. Often, plaque buildup is at fault. That is a colorless, sticky film of bacteria that forms over the teeth frequently. If patients do not floss and brush often enough to remove it, the plaque can build up. Then it affects the bone and gums around the teeth.
The stages of gum disease
There are three main stages to stay aware of. The earliest is gingivitis, which is gum inflammation caused by plaque. If a patient does not floss and brush correctly, the plaque remains and produces toxins, irritating the gums. In the early stages, patients might notice that flossing and brushing cause bleeding. Since it is still early enough, it is possible to reverse the damage. The connective tissue and bone are still intact.
The next stage is periodontitis, which means the teeth’s support structures are permanently damaged. The gums might form pockets below the gumline, trapping plaque and food. The good news is that better home care and the right treatment might prevent more damage. A dentist can create a treatment plan for the patient.
In the final stage, the bones and other support structures are ruined. That might cause teeth loosening or shifting. Over time, that can affect the bite. If aggressive options do not help, the teeth might need removal. Then the patient will need dentures or another replacement.
The symptoms of gum disease
While the condition can happen at any age, it is more common in adults. The good news is no matter the patient’s age; it is easier to treat in its earlier stages. The symptoms include gums that have pulled from the teeth or are puffy. Symptoms of an advanced stage include changes in how the teeth fit together when biting.
Treating the condition
For the early stages of the condition, better flossing and brushing might be an adequate treatment. That prevents plaque buildup. Professional cleanings are also critical for treating the early stages of gum disease. That removes hardened plaque, known as calculus.
More advanced stages might involve scaling. That consists of removing the bacteria both below and above the gumline. Sometimes, the dentist will also recommend root planing. That consists of smoothing the roots, so it is harder for plaque to settle.
Visiting a dentist for gum disease treatment
Patients who visit the dentist every six months are at a lower risk of gum disease. The dentist can catch potential issues early on. They are easier to treat in the earlier stages. If you have other questions about gum disease, your dentist can answer them for you.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Gum Disease in Los Angeles, CA.
Gum disease is one of the most common oral health issues. Many individuals, however, are unaware that they are dealing with the condition. Gum disease is believed to affect millions of adults in the United States, according to the International Journal of Health Sciences. Many people who do not currently have gum disease may develop…
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,…
Oral health issues like gum disease can make each day painful and uncomfortable. Call us for more info.When it comes to your oral health, proper oral hygiene and regular checkups at our dental office can help prevent gum disease. Even if the early symptoms of gum disease don't seem to cause any pain, prompt treatment…