Gum disease is a common oral health issue that, untreated, can result in serious consequences, including tooth loss. When it first begins, however, you might never even know that anything is wrong. As it progresses, however, it becomes more and more noticeable, and the effects become worse and worse. At Summit Dental Care, we can provide you with the periodontal care that you need to prevent and treat gum disease so that you can maintain a healthy mouth.
How Can I Get Gum Disease?
One of the main causes of gum disease is poor oral hygiene. Neglecting your oral care routine can lead to a buildup of plaque and bacteria. Other factors that can contribute to gum disease include smoking, significant alcohol consumption, dry mouth, medical conditions such as diabetes, and even crooked teeth. When plaque and bacteria accumulate along your gumline, they begin to irritate the tissue, leading to gum disease.
What are the Stages of Gum Disease?
The earliest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. This stage is also the one that most people overlook and do not know that they have. At this stage, only the gums are affected. The only real symptoms are red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush and floss.
If gingivitis is not addressed, periodontitis can develop. At this stage, the bacteria have gone below the gumline and are attacking your jawbone. The longer it goes untreated, the worse it becomes, and can eventually develop into advanced periodontitis. In periodontitis, your gums recede, you lose bone mass in your jaw, and your teeth become loose and unstable. You may even lose your teeth.
So, How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
One of the best ways to prevent gum disease is to take good care of your mouth. It is recommended that you brush twice a day as well as floss once a day. These habits help to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth, keeping these substances from irritating your gums. You should also schedule regular dental cleanings and exams every six months. Other ways to help prevent gum disease include quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, keeping diabetes under control, and having crooked teeth corrected.
What Happens if I Get Gum Disease?
If gum disease does develop, there are treatments available. If you can catch gum disease when it is still gingivitis, we can help you to reverse it. This is done with a thorough professional cleaning and making sure that you take good care of your mouth.
Once gum disease turns into periodontitis, the issue can only be managed. It cannot be reversed. We can help you to stop the progression of gum disease, though, and maintain a healthy mouth. Depending upon the severity of your periodontitis, we may recommend scaling and root planing, pocket reduction surgery, osseous surgery, or another treatment. Periodontal maintenance may also be recommended to help ensure that your mouth stays healthy and that gum disease does not worsen.
Taking good care of your mouth is important not just for preventing cavities, but for preventing gum disease as well. For more information, call Summit Dental Care at (208) 490-8141 today.