Gum disease is a serious problem that can cause you to lose teeth. Gum disease can also contribute to other medical problems because of the chronic infection that develops under your gums and in your jaw bone. Fortunately, the early stages of gum disease are easy to treat and reverse. If this treatment isn't taken and the infection deepens, the condition is harder to treat. Here's a look at the two main stages of gum disease and how your dentist may treat the condition.
Gingivitis Is Gum Inflammation
The first stage in the development of gum disease is gingivitis. This is an inflammation of your gum tissue due to the buildup of plaque on your teeth that irritate your gums. As your gums become inflamed, they may look red and swollen. However, the first indication of gingivitis is often when you notice blood when brushing your teeth. It's also possible for you to have no noticeable symptoms in the very early stages, and you find out you have gingivitis when your dentist discovers it during a routine examination.
Good Oral Hygiene Can Reverse Gingivitis
If your dentist catches your gum disease before you have any symptoms, dental cleaning and continued good oral hygiene may be enough to reverse it. You'll want to keep up with regular dental visits and cleaning once you've had gingivitis to make sure it doesn't return. Also, watch for signs of bleeding when you brush so you can make a dental appointment ahead of schedule if needed for an evaluation.
Periodontitis Affects The Bone
The next stage of gum disease affects not only your gums, but also your bone. Periodontitis is further broken down into stages depending on the severity of infection and bone loss. The first stage is when pockets develop near your teeth as the gums begin to pull away due to the infection. The final stage is when your bone is affected, you have tooth loss, your teeth shift, you have chronic bad breath, and your gums recede. Every case of gingivitis doesn't develop into periodontitis, and if treatments are given at any stage, your dentist may be able to stop the progression of your gum disease or at least manage the condition.
Surgery May Be Needed For Periodontitis
Your dentist may recommend deep cleaning for your teeth when you're at the early stages of periodontitis. This involves scraping away the plaque beneath your gums. This removes the infection in pockets that have pulled away from your teeth and removes bacteria so your gums have a chance to heal. More advanced gum disease may require laser surgery that clears the infection beneath your gums. You might even need gum surgery or grafts. You could lose teeth and need to wear dentures.
While the complications associated with advanced gum disease are not pleasant, you should remember the health risks you could face due to the infection that can spread in your body if you don't clear up your condition. Regular dental visits are more important than you might realize, especially when early diagnosis could save your teeth and stop gum disease in its tracks.
If you want to know more, trying visiting websites where professional dentists are to learn what step is next for you.