Posted: February 13, 2018
Periodontal (gum) disease is a condition that affects roughly 50% of American adults. Because gum disease can persist without noticeable pain, it often goes unnoticed. This allows the disease to progress undetected until it is in its most severe stage.
Gum disease in its early stage is called gingivitis. Signs of gingivitis include bleeding gums when brushing or flossing and might not be accompanied by gum tenderness. If gingivitis is caught and treated at this early stage, its effects on the gums and teeth are reversible, leaving no damage behind. It is the goal of dental professionals to treat gingivitis before it develops into periodontal disease. In order to detect gingivitis early, it is important for patients to keep up with their 6 month checkups. At these appointments, your dental professional will perform a gum check. If gingivitis is detected, a treatment plan will be developed to treat the condition.
If gingivitis is left unchecked, it can progress to full blown periodontitis. Signs of periodontitis include bleeding, swollen gums, gums that pull away from the teeth, receding gums, unpleasant odor, and possible gum pain or loose teeth. At this stage, continual and irreversible damage is being done to the gums and supportive structures of the teeth. The longer the disease is left untreated, the more extensive the damage to the teeth and gums. Untreated gum disease can ultimately result in loss of teeth and severe infections. If your dental professional detects periodontitis, a more aggressive treatment may be recommended with to the goal of arresting the progression of gum damage. After the initial treatment of periodontitis is completed it is important for patients to maintain regular maintenance visits to see their dental professional in order to keep the disease in check and monitor the condition of the gums.
Patients, together with their dentist can catch the signs of gum disease and prevent damage to the teeth and gums before it begins! Contact us at Museum Smiles Dentistry for a dental checkup. Preventive dental care will benefit your oral and overall systemic health.
By Gina Royal RDH