Gum Disease Fact Sheet
Arguably the most realistic threat to your oral health is gum disease. Not only can it cost you your teeth, but at its worst, it can lead to heart attack, stroke, and other life-threatening conditions. Discover some must-know information about gum disease, one of the most common dental problems in America.
How Gum Disease Develops
The best way to fight or prevent a problem is to first understand how it starts. Gum disease is caused when plaque accumulates on the teeth, attracting bacteria. From here, some of that plaque will gather at the gum line, resulting in infection, pockets in the gums, and other unwanted symptoms.
Three Stages of Gum Disease
Depending on what stage it’s in, gum disease can cause a variety of symptoms. . The symptoms can range from mild irritation at the early stages to potential tooth loss in the more advanced stages. Understanding the three stages of gum disease will highlight the importance of treating it early.
The mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis, is characterized by red, swollen gums that may cause discomfort while brushing or eating. You won’t lose teeth at this stage, but you may begin to see infected pockets of pus developing in your gums.
When left untreated, gum disease can evolve into periodontitis, which is its second most advanced stage. Infected pockets are more prevalent at this stage and the tissues holding the teeth in place may suffer irreparable damage.
The most severe stage of gum disease is called advanced periodontitis and at this stage, tooth loss is a realistic threat. The gums may be so damaged at this stage that surgical procedures, such as gum grafts, may be the only solution.
Common Treatments for Gum Disease
Scaling and Root Planing
For gingivitis and periodontitis, scaling and root planing may be the optimal way to thoroughly clean your teeth and stop the problem from spreading. By ensuring that the teeth and gum line are completely cleaned and devoid of plaque, we’re able to eliminate the key problem that leads to gum disease in the first place.
Certain medications can be a cause and a solution of gum disease. It’s important to tell your doctor which medications you’re on if you’re fighting gum disease because some of them can aggravate the symptoms. On the other hand, some medications are able to help fight gum disease by limiting the bacteria produced in addition to other functions.
Serious cases of gum disease may require surgery, and one of the most common surgeries associated with gum disease is gum grafting. Gum grafting involves taking gum tissue from a healthy part of the mouth and placing it in an area where the gums have been damaged which encourages it to grow back healthy.
Talk to Dr. Foust if You’ve Noticed Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease starts as a minor problem, but can quickly grow into a major one that can take a toll on your health. Therefore, it’s best to fight it the second you notice that it’s developing. By coming in early, we can use treatments that are non-invasive to help prevent your gum disease from spreading. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment with Dr. Foust.