Gum disease is a major health risk, and avoiding it should be a top priority.
It is possible to have gum disease without showing symptoms, which is why it is crucial to see your dentist on a regular basis.
Do You Have Gum Disease?
The only way to determine whether gum disease is present is to see a dentist. However, patients with gum disease may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Red, sore, swollen, and/or bleeding gums
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Gum recession (gums pulling away from the teeth)
- Loose teeth
Patients who are experiencing these symptoms should see a dentist immediately to begin treatment. The earlier gum disease treatment begins, the better the prognosis.
Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease occurs in three stages.
Gingivitis: In this stage, the gums are inflamed, but the surrounding bone and tissues are not yet affected. This first stage of gum disease is reversible if properly treated.
Periodontitis: Advanced gingivitis becomes periodontitis, the second stage of gum disease. In this stage, the gums begin pulling away from the teeth, forming pockets, which become infected. Patients who have periodontitis may experience bone loss, tissue loss, and other serious problems.
Moderate/advanced periodontitis: In its most advanced stage, gum disease causes significant bone, tissue, and tooth loss.
Consequences of Gum Disease
If gum disease is not treated, there can be serious health consequences that impact the entire body.
In addition to the oral problems caused by gum disease, such as tooth loss, there is growing evidence of a strong connection between gum health and health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
Neglecting your oral health can be life-threatening.
It is much easier to prevent gum disease than it is to treat it. Practicing good oral hygiene, avoiding tobacco use, and visiting the dentist on a regular basis are all effective methods of maintaining good oral health.