You likely already know that gum disease is bad news. Not only are its symptoms unpleasant, but it can also cause permanent damage to oral health. However, that doesn’t mean it has no hope for treatment. A qualified dentist can manage and even cure the condition in the right circumstances. It’s just a matter of seeking care at the right time and place! To learn more, here’s a summary of the stages of gum disease and tips on preventing the illness in the first place.
It Depends on the Stage
Whether or not a professional can cure your troubled gums will depend on the stage of your infection. Gum disease stages usually take the form of gingivitis and periodontitis.
Early Stage (Gingivitis)
Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. Inflammation of the tissue, it’s characterized by painless symptoms like redness, swelling, and bleeding gums. Patients often get it due to plaque building along and under the gum line.
Luckily, gingivitis is both treatable and reversible. If you practice brushing and flossing twice daily, the condition’s symptoms will naturally fade. Add in a professional cleaning from your dentist, and your gums will return to normal.
Moderate-to-Advanced Stage (Periodontitis)
When gum disease is left untreated long enough, it turns into periodontitis. The latter is when your bacterial infection deepens and affects both gum tissue and the bone underlying your teeth.
Your infection has already damaged bone and gum tissue at this stage. In fact, your gums will have pulled away from your teeth and allowed pockets to form below the gum line. Food debris and bacteria build up in these pockets, causing further destruction. Other symptoms include constant bad breath, tenderness, and bleeding.
A dentist can only manage your gum disease when it reaches this form. For instance, they may use root planning and scaling to halt the condition’s progress. In more advanced cases, surgery may be required. They may even need to perform bone and tissue grafts to restore a damaged mouth.
Gum Disease Prevention Tips
Rather than let it reach an advanced stage, it’s better to prevent gum disease in the first place. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make that happen:
- Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth twice daily, floss once daily, and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash as needed.
- Eat a Mouth-Healthy Diet: Try to lay off overly fatty and sugary foods. Instead, have items rich in mouth-healthy nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorus.
- See Your Dentist Regularly: Remember to visit your local practice every six months for dental checkups and cleanings.
There’s still hope even if you have gum disease, no matter the stage. Talk to a dentist today and they’ll make your pink tissue healthy again!
About the Author
Dr. Darren Koch is a dentist based in Cary, NC, proud to serve dental patients of all ages. To that end, he offers the best possible preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, including emergency services as needed. Besides his dental doctorate, he further ensured his skillset by earning his Advanced Education in General Dentistry certificate. Dr. Koch currently practices at his self-titled clinic and can be reached by phone at (919)-859-6633.