You hear it all of the time. Brushing and flossing are essential for the prevention of gum disease. Many people mistakenly believe that so long as they are brushing and flossing at least somewhat regularly and they are not exhibiting any symptoms of gum disease, then there is nothing wrong. The problem is, however, that gum disease isn’t always noticeable right away. Believe it or not, about half of the adults in the United States have some form of gum disease. Even though it is common, however, this does not mean that it is not serious. Gum disease at any stage needs to be treated, and Bisson Dentistry can help.
Gingivitis is the very first stage of gum disease. It is the only stage that is reversible when addressed promptly. However, it is also the most difficult stage to detect. There are only a few signs that indicate gingivitis, and most people never notice them. With this stage, plaque and bacterial buildup have caused the gum tissue to become inflamed, but the connective tissues and your bone have not yet been affected. This is what makes it reversible. Signs include gums that are red, swollen, and that bleed when you take care of your teeth.
Once gum disease has gone past gingivitis to periodontitis, it becomes irreversible. It can, however, be treated and managed so that you can maintain a healthy mouth. When you have developed periodontitis, the infection in your gums has spread to your jawbone. Once in the bone, you begin to experience bone loss. Pockets, called periodontal pockets, begin to form. These are gaps that form between the gum tissue and your teeth. Bacteria, plaque, and food particles get stuck, allowing for further irritation and chronic bad breath in addition to red, swollen, bleeding gums.
This is the last, and most detrimental, stage of gum disease. At this stage, there has been significant attachment loss. The teeth become loose, which can lead to shifting. This can then impact the way your teeth fit together as well as your bite. Biting and chewing can become painful. Gum tissue recedes, which can result in tooth sensitivity. Teeth may be lost or require extractions, which then results in the need for tooth replacement. Your overall health is also put at risk.
Who Gets Gum Disease?
Gum disease can affect anyone. While those who ignore their oral hygiene and do not take good care of their mouths are at an increased risk, even those who do brush and floss regularly can still develop the disease. In addition to your oral care habits, your lifestyle habits can also play a role in your risk. If you smoke, using chewing tobacco, or drink alcohol, your risk is higher. You may also be at greater risk if you have crooked teeth, have dry mouth, or have certain health conditions such as diabetes.
Just because you are at risk for gum disease, this does not mean that you are doomed to get it. There are ways that you can actively work to prevent gum disease. First, it is important that you brush and floss your teeth daily. You should also have routine dental cleanings and exams, even if you think your mouth is healthy. Quit smoking. If you have certain medical conditions, make sure that you are keeping them under control.
If you have any questions or concerns about gum disease, call Bisson Dentistry at (226) 299-0713 today.