November 3, 2015
A majority of the American population currently suffers from the common malady known as periodontal disease. Also referred to as gum disease, this condition can affect other serious conditions found throughout the body, and has been proven to contribute to much more severe problems, such as heart disease and diabetes.
If you believe you may suffer from this problematic condition, speak to your dental professional right away to learn about treatment options, which can vary depending on the stage of gum disease you may be afflicted with.
Stages of Gum Disease
The three main stages of periodontal disease are:
- Gingivitis. This initial stage can be most easily identified by plaque buildup around the gum line. This accumulation of bacterial plaque can cause the gums to become inflamed and bleed when disturbed by brushing or flossing. At this premature stage of the disease’s development, there is still an opportunity to reverse any damage incurred, as the bone and fibrous structures are still essentially intact. Once the bacteria is cleared from the gums, the infection has a high possibility of being terminated.
- Periodontitis. If the gingivitis stage is left untreated to allow for development, the condition can then progress to periodontitis. Once this occurs, the bone and fibrous structures have undergone damage, and will allow ‘pockets’ to develop in the spaces between one’s teeth and gums. The plaque and bacteria will accumulate in these regions at an accelerated rate, which will further damage the essential structures that support the teeth and contribute to gum recession. At this stage gum disease treatment is absolutely necessary in order to save remaining teeth and tissue.
- Advanced Periodontitis. Once periodontal disease has progressed to this point, the connecting tissues and bone structure in the mouth have essentially been destroyed. This will cause the pockets to increase in severity, which allows teeth to become loose and move within the mouth, inhibiting primary functions such as chewing. In order to save any remaining teeth and obtain functionality of one’s mouth, extensive gum disease treatment will be required.
If the symptoms of periodontal disease are left untreated, it is very possible to lose your original teeth and require extensive gum disease treatment and mouth reconstruction procedures in order to allow your mouth to regain functionality. Do not hesitate and allow an untreated issue to harm your teeth and gums; contact your dental professional today to have an exam performed, and determine whether or not gum disease is present.