Identifying Gum Disease
Early stage gum disease is painless and easy to ignore, so it’s usually diagnosed during a regular dental check-up. Officially called periodontal disease, gum disease may not seem like a big deal, but ignoring even a little inflammation eventually leads to pain, bleeding and tooth loss! Studies also have shown that gum disease increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. Premature birth is additionally a potential complication for pregnant women. So it’s true: A healthy mouth encourages a healthy body!
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by bacteria that infects gum tissue. Lack of a daily dental care routine or skipped visits to our Elk Grove dentists increases the likelihood of plaque and tartar accumulation that leads to periodontal disease. Your gums should not bleed after brushing and flossing. So if they do, this indicates that you have likely developed gum disease.
Gingivitis, or early stage gum disease, begins when the gum pockets around your teeth become inflamed and get bigger. During your check-up at the Case Dental Group, your dentist or hygienist measures these pockets as part of your routine examination. Pockets with a depth measuring three millimeters or less are best. When pockets measure more than three millimeters, this means that plaque has begun forming under the gums and is irritating or infecting the tissues. Even though bone loss has not begun, further complications may develop if left untreated.
When left untreated, gingivitis progresses to peridontitis. The pockets of the gums are especially large, inflamed and bleed easily. Gum shrinkage and bone loss is often seen. Immediate treatment is necessary to avoid more expensive specialized treatments later.
Advanced Periodontitis Described
Bone loss, whether moderate or severe, and increasing gum recession allow bacteria to colonize at the tooth sockets and around the roots, making the teeth loose. To save teeth, laser treatments to reduce the pocket size and gum surgery is generally immediately recommended. The dentists at the Case Dental Group encourage you to make an appointment as soon as possible to treat this condition if you notice loose teeth in your mouth.
Gum disease does not have to lead to tooth loss or tooth decay! Regular dental exams and cleanings, combined with consistent oral hygiene at home, successfully prevent this unfortunately common problem. With diligence and treatment, you can eradicate and prevent all forms of gum infection.