Today, many adults have some form of gum disease. Gum disease is referred to as periodontal disease, which affects the bones and tissues surrounding the teeth. Gum disease ranges from a plain gum inflammation to a severe infection resulting in damage to bone and tissue that sustain the teeth. In the worst cases it is possible to experience tooth loss. Millions of individuals do not know that they have gum disease.
There are two separate stages of gum disease. The first stage is gingivitis and the second stage is periodotitis. It is more probable to have gum disease if you do not clean your teeth well or smoke, as well as a family member having gum disease or a medical problem that makes it more difficult to fight infections. Gum disease is frequently silent, because symptoms may not appear until the disease is advanced.
Bacteria in the mouth forms plaque on teeth and plaque that is not removed by brushing and flossing hardens and forms tartar that brushing does not remove. Only a cleaning by a dentist can remove tartar build up. The longer that tartar buildup is on teeth, the more harmful it become. The bacterium causes inflammation of the gums known as gingivitis. The symptoms of gingivitis are the gums become swollen, red and bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of periodontal disease, easily treatable and reversible with good dental hygiene and regular cleanings by a dentist. Since gingivitis is not painful, the symptoms may not be noticed and if gingivitis is not treated, it advances to periodontitis.
Advanced gum disease called peridontitis causes the teeth to form pockets that become infected and if left untreated gums, bones and tissue that hold the teeth in place become damaged. Periodontitis causes symptoms that are more noticeable. Warning signs of advanced gum disease include a difference in the way the teeth fit when you bite down, sores in the mouth, pain in the mouth, receding gums, pus between teeth and gums and bleeding gums when brushing, flossing or eating. Other symptoms of gum disease may include swollen or red gums, painful chewing, receding gums, loose teeth, tender gums, sensitive teeth, bleeding gums and bad breath. Any one of these symptoms could be a sign of a problem and should be checked by a professional dentist.
When individuals visit the dentist, an exam is performed and the dentist looks for signs associated with gum disease. The dentist looks for pockets between your teeth, bleeding gums, build up of tartar and plague beneath the gum and any area from which the gums are receding from the teeth. The dentist may also take images of the teeth in order to determine if any damage to the bones and any other problems are present. There are a several treatments available for gum disease depending on the stage and how well one responded to previous treatments. The goal of treatment is to stop the progression of gum disease. Treatments can range from therapy to control bacteria to restoring supportive tissues through surgery.
If you start to see the signs and symptoms of gum disease, it’s best that you contact your dentist to set up a consultation of the right treatment options for you.