Mild gum disease, to some extent, is experienced by many adults. In the very early stages of gum disease (gingivitis) a proactive home oral care routine may be enough to return gums to health. However, a trip to the dentist is recommended to assess any existing damage. If left untreated, this condition can progress quickly, eventually causing teeth to separate from the gums, significantly increasing the risk of losing them.
From Gingivitis to Periodontitis
The most common cause of gum disease is bacterial growth due to less than ideal brushing and flossing, as well as a lack of professional dental care. Bacteria on the teeth produce plaque and tartar which in turn cause cavities. Without proper hygiene or professional care, these bacterial by-products spread under the gum line where the infection begins attacking the soft-tissue and bone that provides stability for teeth.
If you notice any bleeding at all when brushing your teeth, you likely have gingivitis. Improving your oral hygiene habits and adding an antibacterial rinse is the first step to take, and if you don’t already have a dentist visit scheduled, make one. This is the only way to know if you need a treatment called scaling and root planing: a deep cleaning that gets under the gum line and removes the tartar and bacteria that is threatening the health of your smile.
If you are experiencing irritated, swollen, or bleeding gums on a regular basis, you may have developed periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease that can severely affect the soft and hard tissue supporting your teeth. You may also be sensitive to hot and cold foods, and one or more of your teeth may already be loose.
Treatment for Advanced Gum Disease
When the infection has reached the roots, deep soft-tissue, or bone, treatment grows increasingly complex and the symptoms more uncomfortable. Gum and bone grafts may be required along with other surgical interventions, and dental implants may be needed to replace lost teeth.
Gum disease has been directly linked to other health issues including heart and lung conditions as well as diabetes. Your oral health can serve as a good indicator of your overall well-being. Just as oral bacteria can travel to other parts of your body, systemic illness can make you more prone to gum disease.
Call the Cedarhurst Dental Office of Alina Bergan The risk of gum disease and the complications caused by it can be reduced with the proper home and professional care. Dr. Alina Bergan provides compassionate and thorough care for your smile and can assess the health of your teeth and gums and provides preventive and corrective treatments for gum disease.