Posted on: 2 February 2017Share
Gum disease is a condition that is caused by plaque that can lead to a lot of oral problems and health issues if you have it and do not seek treatment for it quickly. It is also a progressive disease, meaning it will worsen if it is not treated. The good news is that it can be treated, even if it has progressed to the third stage, which is the worst. Here are several things to understand about gum disease, its stages, and the treatment options for it.
What gum disease is
Gum disease is a damaging disease to the gums in your mouth. It begins when plaque is left on your teeth. Plaque can work its way inside your gum lines, and it can lead to decay on teeth and infections in gums. In addition, it can cause the gums to begin receding. As it progresses, this disease can end up eating away your gums and can damage the bone in your jaw. Gum disease is highly preventable, though, and you can do this by practicing good oral habits for your teeth and mouth each day. Getting dental cleanings twice a year is also highly beneficial for preventing it.
The three stages of gum disease
Gum disease has three main stages, and the first stage is called gingivitis. The second two stages are called periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. Gingivitis is the initial stage, and it represents partial damage to the gums. When gingivitis begins to form, it causes the gums to start pulling away from the teeth. It may cause bleeding and discomfort with the gums, and you may not even realize you have it until the dentist checks your mouth.
As this disease worsens, it can turn from gingivitis into periodontitis and then to advanced periodontitis. Both of these stages of gum disease are extremely damaging to the gums and to the jaw. If you have either of these, you may end up losing some of your teeth, simply because your gums might not be strong enough to hold them in place any more.
Treatment for it
Dentists treat gum disease in several different ways, and the treatment always depends on what stage a person has. One form of treatment for gum disease is called root scaling and planing, and this involves scraping the plaque away from the pockets inside your gums. If this is not sufficient for treating the gum disease, your dentist may suggest laser gum treatment. If your gums are really damaged, you may even need gum tissue added to your mouth.
Gum disease is easier to treat if you catch it in the initial stage. To learn more, contact a dentist in your city, such as those at Crest Hill Family Dental.