Periodontal disease, also often called “gum disease” is an infection of the gums and surrounding tissue that is caused by poor oral hygiene. It’s an extremely serious and very common dental health issue. Nearly 50% of all adults in America are suffering from some stage of gum disease. The team at the office of Dr. Brett Blacher wants you to be informed about the stages and treatments of gum disease:
Gum disease is typically split up into three stages. Gingivitis is the most common and least serious of these three stages, and it can be easily treated and reversed. Gingivitis occurs when the gums (gingiva) of the mouth become infected by bacteria and inflamed. In this stage of periodontal disease, you will want to look for the following symptoms:
- Bloody gums when brushing
- Tenderness of the gums
- Inflamed, red, or darkly-colored gums
- Gum recession
The good thing about gingivitis is that it is treatable and reversible. In most cases, proper oral hygiene, such as brushing twice a day for at least two minutes, and flossing once per day, is all that is required to eliminate it entirely.
If gingivitis is not treated, your gum disease may progress to the stage known as “periodontitis.” This occurs when the infection spread throughout the gums and reaches the supporting bone and fibers below your teeth. This tissue may become irreversibly damaged, and pockets may form under your teeth that trap food, plaque, and bacteria. Symptoms include:
- Increased sensitivity to heat, cold, and pressure
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Loose teeth
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together
Periodontitis usually cannot be reversed, but it can be managed and treated with procedures such as deep cleaning (scaling & root planing), antibiotics, mouth rinses, and surgical procedures like pocket reduction surgery. You will need regular cleanings to preserve your teeth, and prevent your disease from progressing further.
In cases of advanced periodontitis, the infection has destroyed most or all of the tissue below your gums. Typical symptoms of advanced periodontitis include:
- Loose teeth and total tooth loss (avulsion)
- A bad taste in the mouth that does not go away
- Pus between the teeth and gums
- Severe bad breath
- Intense pain while trying to chew
Gum grafts and bone grafts may be used to try to preserve and restore the teeth, alongside other surgeries, cleanings, and antibacterial treatments. However, in many cases, advanced periodontitis cannot be treated. The teeth will have to be extracted and replaced with dentures or a dental implant. This is why it’s so critical to seek treatment for gum disease before it progresses to this stage.
Get Periodontal Care Right Away From Dr. Brett Blacher
Dr. Blacher is an experienced general and preventative dentist. If you think you may have gingivitis or periodontitis, schedule an appointment at our office right away. With regular teeth cleanings and proper oral hygiene, you may be able to treat and reverse your case of gum disease.
The faster you get treatment, the more likely it is to be successful, and you’ll be able to preserve the integrity and health of your gums and teeth. Contact us today at (630) 916-0701 for an appointment, or come into our office at 450 E 22nd St, #201, Lombard, IL 60148 for more information.