Advanced levels of gum disease may be hard to combat, but there are several ways to keep this progressive disease from getting worse. Your routine dental checkups play a vital role in eliminating and controlling any signs of developing gum disease. Failing to do so can lead the way for the bacteria to grow and infect several other tissues of the gums.
Gum disease (periodontal disease) is a general term used to describe the painless progressive destruction of the gum tissue and the surrounding structures that hold your teeth in place. The number one cause of tooth loss is periodontal disease.The three stages of gum disease are gingivitis, periodontitis (periodontal disease), and advanced periodontitis.
The signs and symptoms of gum disease may include:
Any infection, when left untreated, will progress. If a diagnosis of periodontal disease is made by the doctor, a treatment plan of how to most-effectively treat the gum disease will be discussed with you. Early intervention is always the best.
Characterized by red, inflamed gum tissue, gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. It mainly occurs when bacterial plaque is not cleaned daily from your oral cavity. Gingivitis is reversible with regular dental cleanings and by good dental home care, including flossing and brushing at least twice a day.
Periodontal disease and its severity is diagnosed by measuring the pockets between your teeth with a probe (tiny ruler), reviewing x-rays and checking for bleeding and inflammation. Periodontitis occurs when bacteria below the gum line is not removed and damage occurs to the gum tissue and supporting structures. If left untreated, advanced periodontal disease results in the loss of teeth.
At Littleton Family Dental, we have several options for treating periodontal disease conservatively-without surgery. Scaling and root planning (deep cleaning) to remove bacterial tartar from below the gum line, laser treatments, and localized placement of antibiotics are some of the methods we use to treat your periodontal disease in a comfortable and cost-effective way.