What are the stages of gum disease and how is it treated?
Gum disease is caused by a wide variety of bacteria that can cause inflammations to your gums. Gum disease can come in three stages, gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. Sadly, if not treated, advanced periodontitis can cause tooth loss. Gum infections affect millions of adults and children each year. However, gum infections are highly preventable with a proper oral hygiene routine including brushing twice a day, flossing, and scheduling regular appointments for a professional cleaning.
Stages of Gum Disease
• Gingivitis- The most common gum infection is gingivitis. Gingivitis is the medical term for early gum disease. Dental plaque is a host for a wide variety of bacteria that can cause gingivitis. Dental plaque can form on your teeth, into your gum line, and in gum crevices. Plaque requires daily removal, and when the plaque is left for more than a few days, the plaque becomes very hard to remove on your own. The bacteria that settle into your gums create toxins that cause your gums to become inflamed and swell. Although you may experience bleeding by brushing your teeth, your teeth are still firm in their sockets. When gingivitis is left untreated, the infection can advance into periodontitis.
• Periodontitis– gingivitis typically precedes periodontitis and often includes the same symptoms just with more severity. Periodontitis causes the loss of supportive bone structure. The gum pulls away from the tooth and causes small pockets, and food and debris can get lodged in these pockets and become infected. As the infection spreads, the pockets deepen, and the bone begins to erode ultimately causing tooth loss.
• Advanced Periodontitis– Advanced periodontitis is the most severe stage of gum infection and can sometimes lead to severe and irreversible gum damage and even tooth loss. At this point, it is critical to seek consolation from a dental hygienist.
You should notify your dentist as soon as you see signs of a gum infection. The signs include bright red gums, bleeding gums while brushing, receding gums, loose teeth, and gum tenderness. Once you have consulted with a dentist, there will be different options available to you based on the severity of the issue. For gingivitis, a dentist may advise you to follow better oral hygiene practices or may prescribe antibiotic therapy. However, for periodontitis, you may have to take more extreme measures to defeat the infection. Common treatments for periodontitis includes root planing and scaling, and surgical intervention.
If you are suffering from the painful symptoms of gingivitis or periodontitis, you are not alone. Contact the dental professionals at Passes Dental Care today to discuss your treatment options. For the last 42 years, we have helped our patients in the Great Neck area treat painful gum infections, and we are here to help you too. Contact us at (516) 858-5921 today.