Gum disease, more commonly known as periodontal disease, is a serious oral health condition that affects the soft tissue in the mouth that we know as the gums. Supporting the teeth, the gums are an essential component of oral health, however if left abandoned, can aid in the degeneration of the gums through plague and bacteria.
Stages of Gum Disease
The first stage of gum disease is Gingivitis. Early stages are characterized by inflamed and bleeding gums, especially during brushing and flossing. The cause is often poor oral hygiene that causes buildup of plaque and bacteria. The good news is that this stage can be reversible, and is often improved once a patient enhances their daily regimen of flossing and brushing.
The second stage of gum disease is Periodontitis. If left untreated, the degradation progresses to a more severe form of gum disease. Inflammation in the gums extends deeper into the supporting and connective tissue, resulting in recession and pockets forming between the teeth and gums. This can lead to irreversible damage.
The best treatment for gum disease is the proactive involvement of sound oral hygiene, Brushing and flossing is the first step, coupled with consistent follow ups with a licensed dentist. If gum disease is diagnosed early, it can be prevented. Left untreated, it can lead to complications and potential surgery. Always consult with a dentist if you are experiencing pain or think you may have gum disease.