Periodontal Q & A
It has been estimated that 75% of Americans have some form of gum disease which can be linked to serious health complications and causes dental problems that are avoidable.
The Dangers Of Gum Disease
- Gum disease has been linked to an increased risk for many serious health complications, including:
- Heart Disease
- Premature Birth or Low Birth-Weight Babies
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Memory Loss or Dementia
- Head and Neck Cancer
The Three Stages of Gum Disease
The three stages of gum disease are:
- Advanced Periodontitis
Stage 1 : Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and is caused by plaque and bacterial buildup around the gum line. If you neglect to brush or floss your teeth daily, these bacteria can grow and cause gum disease. Gingivitis causes inflammation of the gums. Gums that should otherwise be pink will appear red and swollen and you might experience bleeding when you brush or floss. However, at this point, gingivitis can still be reversed since the bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place have not yet been affected. The gum tissues heal once the irritants have been removed from the teeth and gums, thus eliminating gingivitis.
Stage 2: Periodontitis
If gingivitis is left untreated, the condition can progress to periodontitis. At this stage, the supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place have been irreversibly damaged. The spaces between your teeth and gums begin to form “pockets,” which are deep hollow areas around the teeth that trap plaque and bacteria. These deeper pockets allow plaque, bacteria, and tartar to accumulate, destroying the structures that support the teeth. Your gums may recede and form gaps between your teeth. Visiting a doctor for immediate gum disease treatment is necessary to prevent further damage and tooth loss.
Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis
In this final stage of gum disease, periodontitis has progressed and become advanced periodontitis. Bacteria that was allowed to grow, spread, and cause destruction has destroyed the connective tissues and bone that support the teeth. The pockets that formed in the previous stage have become much deeper. Your teeth can shift or become loose. Loose teeth that move around in the mouth may affect your bite. At this stage, seeing a doctor for gum disease treatment is needed to save the teeth.
The stages of gum disease are progressive and can result in eventual tooth loss if left untreated. The earlier that this disease is identified and treated, the better your chances are to keep your teeth for the rest of your life. Schedule your appointment with a doctor for gum disease detection and treatment today.