If left to persist, gum disease can progress from impacting a single area in your mouth to your entire smile. Though this condition is serious, it is preventable, as are many other oral health conditions. Taking care of your teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues can stop such issues from arising and keep your smile healthy now and in the future.
Here at our neighborhood dental clinic, our dentist in Gainesville provides gum disease treatment to those who are in need of it. To learn more about this, book a consultation today!
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is also referred to as periodontal disease or periodontitis. It is a chronic bacterial infection that, as the name clearly illustrates, harms a person’s gums as well as supporting structures around the teeth. Plaque – a stick filmy created by an amalgamating of bacteria – develops and, if left to fest, can contribute to gum recession, bone deterioration and tooth loss amongst other things.
What Causes It?
Once plaque has formed, it can start to harden into a substance known as tartar if it is not cleaned off a patient’s smile. Only a dentist can remove tartar because regular brushing and flossing will not help with its elimination.
With that said, a few other factors that can heighten your risk of gum disease developing include:
- Poor oral hygiene – Failing to clean your teeth every daycan allow plaque to form and amalgamate.
- Tobacco – Chewing tobacco or using tobacco-based products like pipes and cigarettes can increase the risk of gum disease and make it more difficult to treat.
- Genetic factors – Some patients may be more prone to this condition due to inherited factors.
- Certain medications – Antihistamines and antidepressants can reduce saliva flow, which can lead to dry mouth. A lack of salvia means that bacteria and debris aren’t being cleaned from your mouth, thereby increasing the potential for gum disease.
- Hormones – Hormone changes like those that occur during pregnancy, puberty, and menopause can increase oral sensitivity, a consequence of unhealthy gums.
- Chronic conditions –Diseases such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and cancer can weaken the immune system as well as impact your oral health.
- Poor nutritional habits – A diet low in vitamin Crenders the immune system weakwhich interferes with the body’s ability to ward off a variety of infections like gum disease.
If you are dealing with any of these issues, please get in touch with a dentist near you. They will invite you to come in for a comprehensive consultation so they can properly assess your smile and determine the best solution to get your oral health back to where it should be.
Different Levels of Gum Disease
Gum disease can be broken down into the following stages:
Stage 1: Gingivitis
Gingivitis is commonly known as the beginning stage of the condition. It’s characterized by inflammation, redness, and bleeding, mainly whena person brushes or flosses their teeth. At this level, the bone and connective tissue that keep your teeth in place have not yet been affected, meaning the damage can be reversed with professional dental treatment.
Stage 2: Periodontitis
Periodontitis is the advanced form of gum disease, occurring when toxins are emitted from the plaque that has built up on one’s smile. These toxins irritate and eat away at the gums, causing them to recede and create spaces. More bacteria can gather here, harming tooth roots and, subsequently, the bones of the oral cavity.
Periodontitis can be further classified into three distinct levels:
- Early– Characterized by slight to moderate bone loss, and the pockets around the teeth have grown to be deeper than 3 mm.
- Moderate – There is significant bone loss, and the pockets around the teeth are between 4-6 mm.
- Advanced– This is when severe bone loss happens, and the pockets around the teeth are deeper than 6 mm. Your teeth will feel extremely loose and, may need to be extracted if they don’t fall out first.
Have questions or need clarification about any of this? Don’t be shy to reach out to your dentist. If you’re dealing with gum disease in Gainesville, they’re here to ensure that you acquire the treatment you need.
Indications of gum disease will vary, as it depends on the stage of the disease that a patient is facing; however, here some of the most common signs to keep an eye out for:
- Swollen, red, irritated, or tender gums.
- Frequent bleeding when you’re brushing and flossing.
- Bad breath (halitosis) or a persistently bad taste in your mouth.
- Your teeth look longer because your gums have started to pull away.
- Loose feeling or shifting teeth.
- Your teeth don’t line up when you bite down.
- There’s pus where your teeth and gums meet.
- Oral sores.
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks.
Early detection and treatment are crucial to effectively address this disease and stop it from advancing and causing more complex and costlier damage to your beautiful smile. If you’re looking to acquire treatment gum disease near you, call, email, or come into our dental practice when you can. Our dentists and hygienists here at Georgia Smile Team are dedicated to helping you with all your oral health needs.