The 3 Stages of Gum Disease
May 5, 2018
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is one of the most common dental issues in the entire world. It is an infection that damages the gums, roots of the teeth, and the bone that supports them, and an estimated 80% of the adult population is currently dealing with a form of it right now. Like many other infections, its initial symptoms are very subtle and easy to miss, but it can eventually develop into a severe oral and even overall health issue. Gum disease progresses in 3 distinct stages, and today, we are going to discuss each of them as well as tell you how to stop them.
Stage 1: Gingivitis
This is the mildest and most common form of gum disease, and it occurs when plaque and bacteria are allowed to build up along the gum line. This can lead to redness and irritation in the tissue and even cause the gums to bleed while brushing and flossing. During this early stage, gum disease can typically be reversed with more diligent homecare and more frequent dental cleanings.
Stage 2: Periodontitis
At this stage, the infection has spread beyond the gums and has damaged the bone and fibers that keep the teeth in place. This can lead to the development of what are called periodontal pockets, which are small spaces between the gums and teeth that can trap food particles and plaque. At this point, a person will likely notice gum recession, a lot of swelling, and their teeth may even become loose.
Periodontitis can partially be treated with more consistent brushing and flossing at home, but in order to really take care of it, a person should undergo a scaling and root planing treatment (a deep cleaning focused just on the gums) performed by their dentist.
Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis
Once gum disease has reached this point, the fibers and bone needed to support the teeth have been mostly or completely destroyed, and tooth loss is the inevitable result. This stage can even make a patient more likely to develop other systemic health conditions (such as diabetes and heart disease) because the oral bacteria can easily enter the bloodstream and cause damaging inflammation. Surgical intervention is often needed to remove any infected tissue at this point, and regular professional cleanings are essential to prevent reinfection.
How To Prevent Gum Disease
Of course, it would be much better to simply prevent gum disease in the first place, right? Fortunately, you are probably very familiar with the best strategies to do this: brush your teeth twice a day, floss once, and see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. This three-pronged approach will inhibit the buildup of bacteria that can cause the infection in the first place, and routinely seeing your dentist in Williamsville will allow them to catch the disease well before it reaches the later stages. This way, they will be able to take care of it quickly and with more conservative treatments.
While gum disease can develop into a very serious problem, it is simple to control and avoid altogether just by practicing consistent oral hygiene. With that, you can rest assured that this global issue will never be a factor for your smile.
About Amherst Dental Group
At Amherst Dental Group, we understand that a person’s oral health does not begin and end with the teeth, but includes the gums as well. This is why we frequently perform periodontal screenings and provide a number of gum disease-focused treatments so we can keep a person’s entire smile healthy and whole for years to come. To learn more about gum disease and the best ways to keep it at bay, contact us today.
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