Gum disease is a common dental problem that affects millions of people, some without even realizing it. It’s estimated that over half of adults suffer from some form of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Gum disease begins when bacteria is trapped above or below the gumline and not cleaned away. As the bacteria and tartar build, the gums begin to recede and become infected. This can lead to many other symptoms, like bad breath, exposed tooth roots, and sensitive teeth, and cause much damage to your smile. Gum disease develops in different stages ranging from mild to severe. The earlier gum disease is discovered, the easier it is to treat. The most common sign of gum disease is red, swollen gums, or gums that bleed when you brush and floss. Other symptoms of more severe gum disease may include receding gum line, tender gums and even loose teeth or tooth loss.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Regular dental check-ups can help you maintain a healthy smile and catch early signs of dental issues. When caught early, gum disease can be reversed, but later stages can only be maintained and not cured. When gum disease is discovered, your dentist can recommend the best possible treatment. There are many different types of treatments for gum disease, depending on the severity of the disease. Basic care involves a deep cleaning of the periodontal pockets to remove bacteria and tartar buildup so that the gums can heal. Advanced treatments may involve surgery to remove infected gum tissue and reshape the jaw bone.
Early Stages of Gum Disease
The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. At this stage, many people don’t realize they have gum disease because the symptoms are not painful and seem common. This stage is often characterized by bleeding gums or red, swollen, and tender gums. Typically at-home care and a professional dental cleaning can help reverse your symptoms. A professional dental cleaning, thoroughly brushing at home and regularly using an oral rinse are a few ways to treat the early stages of gum disease.
Advanced Gum Disease
A more advanced form of gum disease is periodontitis. If gum disease reaches this stage, it’s important to get treatment for the health of your teeth from our professionals. Your dentist can help determine the most effective treatment for reversing the symptoms. Treatment options may include scaling and root planing and surgical treatments. Often, this stage of gum disease cannot be fully cured, but can be routinely maintained to prevent problems from developing. You may be required to visit your dentist every three months for periodontal maintenance appointments.
If you are experiencing any signs of gum disease in the New York, NY area, call our office today! Our team will give you the care that you need to treat and protect your smile.