Do you have red, swollen, or bleeding gums? Are you experiencing bad breath or tooth sensitivity? If yes, then you may be one of the millions of people who suffer from gum disease. Gum disease is a common condition where the gums become sore, swollen, or infected. Two kinds of diseases that can impact the gums are gingivitis and periodontitis. Understanding the phases of gum disease is essential for preserving good oral health and controlling serious dental problems.
Let us clear the air for you!
There are four stages of gum disease:
Gingivitis– This is the earlier phase of gum disease. It begins with red, puffy gums that may bleed when you brush or floss. At this phase, there is no bone loss. We must mention that gingivitis is reversible with proper treatment.
Mild periodontitis- In this phase, the bacteria under your gums have seeped, affecting the supporting bone. Your gums may tear away from your teeth, creating pockets around them. Plaque and bacteria like to conceal in these pockets, where your toothbrush and floss cannot reach.
Moderate periodontitis- If left untreated, bacteria start to deteriorate the ligaments, soft tissues and bone that keep your teeth in place. You may also notice bad breath and infection around your gum line. Some people also feel pain at this stage.
Advanced periodontitis- As the periodontal disease worsens, bone loss continues. This can cause your teeth to become loose and ultimately fall out.
When treated early enough, gum disease is reversible. However, if you have already lost some bone around your teeth due to infection, the disease is maybe too advanced to reverse. Nevertheless, you can manage it with proper treatment and constant oral hygiene. Treatments range from nonsurgical therapies that prevent bacterial growth to surgery that habilitates supportive tissues. Let us mention some of the causes of gum diseases!
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is usually caused by a build-up of plaque on your teeth. Plaque is a sticky element that contains bacteria. Some bacteria in plaque are harmless, but some are dangerous to the health of your gums. If you do not remove plaque from your teeth by properly brushing them, it produces and irritates your gums. This can lead to redness with swelling, bleeding, and also soreness.
The Importance of Early Detection and Treatment
Early detection and treatment of gum disease are essential to prevent further harm to your oral health. In the early stages of gum disease, non-surgical treatments such as scaling and root planing can be suitable for removing plaque and bacteria from teeth and gums. As mentioned earlier, if gum disease is left untreated, it can progress to more extreme stages, which may require surgical intervention.
Gum Disease Treatments
The treatments for gum diseases may be surgical or non-surgical, it depends on the seriousness of the disease and the patient’s preferences.
- Non-surgical: Non-surgical options for the treatment of gum diseases include antibiotics and a non-surgical deep-cleaning procedure known as tooth scaling and root planing that extracts tartar and plaque from below the gum line. Some research indicates that lasers can be utilised in addition to tooth scaling and root planing to make the process more effective, but there is not enough evidence to suggest a specific wavelength or type of laser for the treatment of gum diseases.
- Surgical: Surgical treatments for gum diseases include procedures to reduce pockets that have developed at the gum line, techniques to restore lost bone and tissue, methods to remove excess gum tissue to reveal more of the tooth surface, and methods to graft soft tissue onto the gums to cover exposed bone and prevent tooth loss.
The successful treatment of any gum disease depends in part on getting regular dental checkups and following a complete oral hygiene routine. We can totally help you, schedule your appointment with Smile Collective and let us take care of your oral health.
You can keep your teeth and gums in check by:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day with some fluoride toothpaste.
- Flossing regularly to reduce plaque from between teeth. Or, you can use a device like an interdental (between-the-teeth) brush, a wooden or plastic pick, or a “water flosser” suggested by a dental professional.
- Visiting your dentist for a check-up and professional cleaning on a regular basis.
- Quitting smoking.