Gum disease is an incredibly common oral health issue. The problem, however, is that many people tend to underestimate just how serious the condition can be. Many with gum disease ignore the early symptoms, which allows the condition to progress. When it does, more than just your gums are affected. Gum disease can affect your teeth, your smile, and your overall health. If you have gum disease, Pacific Ave. Dental can provide you with the treatment you need to protect your oral, and overall, health.
Who Gets Gum Disease?
Gum disease is common among adults. It is estimated that more than half of adults over the age of 30 in the US have some form of it. It can affect children as well, although children are generally only affected by the mildest form. It is rare for children to be affected by more advanced gum disease.
Those who are negligent in their dental hygiene have the greatest risk of gum disease. This is because gum disease occurs when your gum tissue becomes irritated by the bacteria that collect on your teeth. Those who smoke or drink also have a higher risk. You may also be at risk if you have certain medical conditions or if you have a poor diet.
What are the Stages of Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a broad term that encompasses several stages. The earliest stage is called gingivitis. This is the stage that most people are familiar with. You can tell you have gum disease when brushing and flossing causes your gums to bleed. You may also notice that the tissue is red or has become swollen.
After gingivitis, there is periodontitis. At this stage, the bacteria attacking your gums has begun moving below your gum line and started to attack your bone. This results in the loss of bone mass. Gaps between your gums and teeth form, trapping bacteria and other debris.
There is also what is called advanced periodontitis. During this stage, there is much more bone loss, which compromises your teeth. They begin shifting out of proper alignment, altering your bite. You may also begin losing teeth. At this stage, bacteria can also get into your blood, causing other health issues that are seemingly unrelated to your mouth.
Is Gum Disease Reversible?
Gingivitis is the only stage of gum disease that can be reversed. With a thorough dental cleaning and other types of preventive dentistry, and improved brushing and flossing at home, you can eliminate the buildup irritating your gums and restore the health of your mouth.
Once gum disease has progressed into periodontitis, it is not reversible. However, professional treatment is still needed to stop the progression of the disease, manage the condition, and protect the health of your mouth. There are many treatments available for more the more advanced stages of gum disease. These treatments may include scaling and root planing, gum flap surgery, and osseous surgery. Once you have been diagnosed with periodontitis, you will also be recommended periodontal maintenance. These visits replace your routine dental cleanings an exams and are done more frequently than regular cleanings and exams. These visits are essential for maintaining the health of your mouth following your initial gum disease treatment.
If you have any questions or concerns about gum disease, call Pacific Ave. Dental at (360) 373-3515 today.