Do your gums look red and swollen? Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth? If so, its looks like you’ve been a victim of periodontal disease. It’s estimated that nearly 75% of American have some form of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissues that support your teeth.
Gum disease is mainly caused by improper oral hygiene. If you aren’t keeping up with a proper oral hygiene you’re allowing the bacteria in plaque, that sticky colorless film, to remain on your teeth, only to infect your gums. The plaque will build up and the bacteria will infect not only your gums and teeth, but your connective tissue and bone that supports your teeth as well. There are three stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. Periodontal infections often exhibits worsening symptom as time goes on.
- Gingivitis- Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. It causes your gums to become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage there’s usually little to no discomfort. This is the only stage of gum disease that is reversible since it has yet to affect the connective tissues and bone. Only reversible with professional treatment and proper oral hygiene.
- Periodontitis- When gingivitis is untreated it will progress to periodontitis. At this stage the supporting bone and tissues are irreversibly damaged. Your gums start to separate from the teeth, then form pockets that become infected. As periodontitis progresses, the pocket deepen and more of the gum tissue and bone are damaged. With proper treatment and improved oral hygiene you can typically prevent further damage.
- Advanced Periodontitis- Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of gum disease. At this point the supporting bone and tissues are destroyed, which can cause your teeth to shift, loosen or even fall out. This can affect your bite, and if extensive professional treatment can’t save you teeth, your dentist may have to remove them.
Gum disease can occur at any age, but it’s more common in adults. If gum disease is detected in its early stages, it can be reversed. If you condition is more advanced, professional treatment in the dental office will be required.
Be sure to stick to a good oral hygiene routine and visit your dentist regularly for checkups to prevent gum disease. If you suspect you have gum disease, contact Berry Hill Dentistry at 516-921-1717 or visit our website at www.berryhilldentistrypc.com to learn more about gum disease.