Did you know that half of all Americans have some form of gum disease?
Gum disease starts as a simple problem with minor symptoms and quickly becomes worse. In its most advanced form, gum disease can result in tooth loss and can even bring about heart disease, strokes, and other problems. Discover valuable information about one of the most prevalent threats to your oral health, gum disease.
The development of gum disease starts similarly to the development of cavities, but in the case of gum disease, the plaque accumulates at the gumline. When you eat sugar, it sticks to your teeth and attracts bacteria that eat it and leave acids behind. As this bacteria and plaque gather in the gums, the gum tissue becomes infected. This results in gum disease, a dental problem that can be very severe in its later stages.
Early stages of gum disease can be difficult to diagnose, primarily because there isn’t always pain involved. However, other symptoms can suggest that a patient has gum disease, especially when found in combination. Here are some of the primary signs of gum disease:
To understand gum disease, it’s crucial to know that it has three stages, each with very different symptoms. The symptoms vary greatly in severity and range from gums that are irritable to the touch to tooth loss. Here are the three stages of gum disease:
The initial stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. While you won’t sustain permanent damage to your gums when you have gingivitis, you’re likely to experience some irritating symptoms, including red, swollen gums that are sensitive to the touch. You may also start to see the development of infected pockets of pus in your gums, which signifies that your gum disease is about to progress into the next stage.
When gingivitis goes untreated, it evolves into periodontitis, a far worse form of gum disease. Periodontitis is characterized by the infected pus pockets that are now more prevalent and spreading throughout the mouth. The worst that can happen during periodontitis is permanent damage to the tissues that hold your teeth in place, meaning you may feel that some of your teeth are loose when you touch them.
The most severe stage of gum disease, advanced periodontitis, comes with truly harsh, undesirable symptoms. At this point, the gum disease was neglected for a long period of time, and surgery may be required to fix the problem. At this stage, tooth loss is a possibility, so it’s strongly recommended to seek help from your dentist as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Gum disease is an all too common problem among Americans of all ages. While there are various causes, excellent oral care at home is critical for preventing it. By understanding how it develops and its signs and stages, you can clearly see the importance of treating gum disease at its offset. Contact our dental team in Havre de Grace, MD to schedule your next appointment.