Bleeding Gums and the Stages of Gum Disease
The American Dental Association estimates that half of the adults show signs of gum disease, whether that is bleeding gums
or loose teeth. Gum disease is a chronic condition that can have major impacts on oral and systemic health. Patients should be aware of the different stages of this disease to watch for symptoms in their mouth.
In the earliest stages, the damage caused by gum disease is reversible. However, the longer it goes untreated, the more detrimental the effects are. Learn about the different types of gum disease and how they are treated.
Stages of gum disease
There are two main stages of gum disease, gingivitis and periodontitis.
The most minor form of gum disease is gingivitis. This condition is characterized by bleeding gums, bad breath, visible plaque accumulation, and sore gums. Gingivitis is common in teens and young adults, as it is caused by ineffective oral hygiene habits. However, it can occur at any age.
Gingivitis is reversible. With professional dental cleanings and better oral hygiene, patients can get their gums back to optimal health. A dentist may review hygiene habits with a patient and demonstrate proper brushing and flossing methods. Effective plaque removal is the most important step in treating gingivitis.
Left untreated, gingivitis turns into a more serious form of gum disease. Therefore, patients should seek treatment before permanent damage is done to the teeth and gums.
Periodontitis is the most severe form of gum disease. The National Institute of Health cites periodontitis as the primary culprit for tooth loss in adults. Bleeding gums, loose teeth, and calculus accumulation below the gums are indicators of this condition. When plaque hardens on the teeth, it turns into calculus. This hard, porous substance becomes a place for bacteria to collect.
Treating gum disease is not just about having a pretty smile. The bacteria can cause major destruction of the gum tissue and the bone surrounding teeth. Moreover, periodontitis has been linked to several systemic conditions, including diabetes and heart disease.
Periodontitis has different stages, from slight to moderate and advanced. Patients may not recognize serious symptoms until the disease is at the moderate or advanced stage. Regular dental appointments are pivotal in monitoring the progress of periodontitis.
Periodontitis cannot be reversed, but it can be halted. A procedure known as scaling and root planing is often the first line of defense for this disease. The dentist or hygienist uses special instruments to remove calculus below the gumline. This removes the source of infection, and patients can clean their teeth more effectively when the calculus is gone.
Because gum disease is so common, many patients ignore initial symptoms like bleeding gums, not understanding the effects that the condition can have. In fact, treatment can have a huge impact on a person's dental and overall health. For those wanting to find out more about the stages and effects of gum disease, a consultation with a dentist is recommended.
Request an appointment here: https://www.emergencydentistinorlando.com or call Maitland Square Dentistry at (407) 337-1112 for an appointment in our Maitland office.
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