Did you know that 50% of the American adult population suffers from periodontal disease or gum disease? Without seeking the help of a dentist in Clyde, NC, this problem can potentially lead to tooth loss and other overall systemic issues.
Gum disease refers to an ongoing infection that affects the gums and the jawbone. In most cases, this disease is caused by the buildup of plaque and tartar as a result of poor oral hygiene habits. Gum disease is marked by four separate stages, with only one being reversible.
Gingivitis is often the result of the accumulation of plaque around the teeth. What makes gum disease so concerning is the fact that most of the signs at this stage are painless. These signs include redness and swelling of the gums, bad breath on occasion, and bleeding each time you brush or floss. The good news is that gingivitis can be treated and reversed by good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups.
At this point, the infection spreads to the jawbone and starts to destroy it. As the bacteria become more aggressive, bone loss takes place.
Unlike gingivitis, slight gum disease can’t be managed with just simple oral hygiene. When you’re at this stage of gum disease, you’ll experience increased redness and swelling of the gums, consistent bad breath, bleeding when brushing or flossing, and probing depths of up to five millimeters. Treatment includes scaling and root planing.
Similar to slight gum disease, moderate gum disease is also irreversible. This stage shares the same symptoms as stage two. However, since the probing depths reach up to seven millimeters, more bacteria will have access to your jawbones, bloodstream, and immune system.
To treat stage three, your dentist will have to get rid of bacteria deposits that are rooted in your gums through a deep cleaning procedure that involves scaling and root planing. If moderate gum disease is left untreated, this can quickly progress to gum sensitivity, shifting of teeth, increased bleeding, and tooth and bone loss.
This fourth and final stage of gum disease takes place when the infection deepens further, and the germs have evolved into disease-causing bacteria. At this stage, the risk of bone loss is at 50% to 90%. Other symptoms include cold sensitivity, painful chewing, loosening of teeth, pus oozing from red and swollen gums, and severe halitosis.
To treat stage advanced gum disease, your dentist has to perform periodontal laser therapy or periodontal surgery to clean the deep pockets that have formed in your gums. If gum disease is left untreated at this stage, you’ll have gaps or spacing between your teeth, gum recession, and other serious health problems.
With good oral hygiene habits in place and regular dental checkups and cleanings, you can steer clear of the perils of gum disease. However, if you notice the signs and symptoms mentioned above, be sure to seek treatment as quickly as possible to help halt this disease’s progression.
The team of experienced dental professionals at Cataloochee Dental Group is here to help you maintain optimal oral health by providing comprehensive and preventive patient care. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.