Nearly 50 percent of all American adults suffer from gum disease (according to the Center for Disease Control ), and 70% of adults 65 and older suffering from this preventable condition. Although gum disease is difficult to self-diagnose, your hygienist will be able to spot the tell-tale signs at your routine teeth cleaning . Our Sandy Utah dentist discusses the different risks associated with gum disease and explains what you should do if you suspect your gums need professional attention
What is gum disease?
If so many people are suffering from gum disease, you may wonder if untreated gum disease is *that* serious. The problem with gum disease is the inflammation it creates where the roots of your teeth reside. Healthcare professionals take gum disease seriously because real, healthy human teeth offer the highest quality of life, and gum disease threatens the health and lifespan of your teeth. Weakened gums cause weakened bones and, ultimately, teeth loss. The pain, inconvenience, cost and the subsequent consequences of gum disease if left untreated are easily avoidable if treated by a “dentist near me.”
The three progressive stages of gum disease are gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. With each stage, the severity of the corresponding symptoms increase. Proper teeth cleanings and routine oral hygiene will help you avoid or eliminate the first two stages of gum disease. When you ignore 6-month cleanings, regular brushing, and daily flossing, you put yourself at risk for the first two stages and, eventually, the third stage. Advanced periodontitis is dangerous and difficult to treat. Visiting your Platinum Dental Care Dentist will help you treat any stage of gum disease or avoid it altogether in order to secure the best quality of life for both you and your natural teeth.
Gum Disease Stages
Gingivitis. The earliest and most common stage of gum disease is also the most well-known, “gingivitis”. Poor oral hygiene leads to gingivitis because the resultant plaque buildup at the gumline feeds the disease. The plaque that naturally builds up on the surface and along the base of your teeth produce toxins that irritate your gums, leading to the development of gingivitis. A good indicator of gingivitis is bleeding gums . Keeping an eye out for early signs will help reduce the cost of treatment and pain in the future. Routine teeth cleanings at Platinum Dental Care are a great opportunity to talk to your “dentist near me” about treating possible gingivitis before it becomes periodontitis or advanced periodontitis.
Periodontitis. Gingivitis is an easily treated stage of gum disease, but once periodontitis sets in, the supporting connective tissue, fibers, and bones that work to hold your teeth will be irreversibly damaged. No amount of treatment can reverse the damage caused by periodontitis to your teeth and gums. Because the connective tissue is no longer strong enough once periodontitis affects you, the gums may begin to form pockets below the gumline. These pockets trap food and plaque easily, which leads to further damage. The way to treat periodontitis is to increase your home oral hygiene care and increase your visits to a “dentist near me” at his/her advice.
Advanced Periodontitis. As the final and most damaging stage of gum disease, advanced periodontitis is recognized by shifting and loose teeth. The connective tissue and bone are destroyed beyond repair in this stage, which is why dentists are so serious about avoiding this stage at all costs. Loose or lost teeth will affect your bite and ability to eat. If you need to remove your teeth, your Platinum Dental Care dentist will walk through various treatment options with you to fit your budget and desired comfort level.
Gum Disease Symptoms
Adults and children alike can suffer from gum disease. One of the big reasons few people recognize gingivitis or periodontitis at its onset is the absence of pain associated with this disease. Watch for these symptoms to detect gum disease in your mouth or in the mouth of your children, and call a Platinum Dental Care dentist to discuss and inspect these symptoms in order to nip gum disease in the bud.
Gums that bleed easily during flossing or brushing
Tender, red, swollen, or puffy gums
Gums that have separated from the tooth, forming “pockets”
Changes in your bite and how teeth fit together
White or yellow pus surrounding your teeth and gums
Teeth that are sensitive to hot or cold temperatures
Constant bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
Why do I have Gum Disease?
The causes of gum disease are known which is why this condition is so easily preventable. Caution in taking care of your teeth and gums is the best way to avoid gum disease in any stage.
The bacteria associated with plaque are the problem when it comes to your fight against gum disease. Plaque forms in your mouth any time you eat sugar or carbohydrates. Brushing and flossing immediately after eating or drinking is a great way to avoid plaque build-up and subsequent tartar buildup. When plaque is left on the teeth, it forms tartar which must be scraped off with a scaler at your 6-month cleaning appointment.
Gum Disease Treatment
If you find yourself in any stage of gum disease, treatment is easily accessible. Aside from regular appointments with your local Platinum Dental Care dentist and daily brushing and flossing, you may need additional treatment. Gum disease can be treated by medication to reduce the effect and pain of pockets formed in your mouth. Surgery, gum grafts, and other restorative measures may be taken in order to reverse the effects of periodontitis or advanced periodontitis on your teeth/gums.
Dentist Near Me
Ask your Platinum Dental Care dentist how best to avoid gum disease at your next cleaning appointment. If you are concerned that gingivitis or periodontitis has set in already, do not hesitate to call any one of our offices immediately. You can make an appointment by visiting us online, or calling us at 1-801-806-4704 and a friendly staff member will work with your schedule. Time will only allow your gum disease symptoms to worsen–call and schedule an appointment today!