Early Indicators That You Could Be Suffering from Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease. It is a condition that begins with inflammation of the tissues and gums that surround the teeth and is caused by accumulation of plaque and bacteria. The disease makes you gums pull away from the teeth which increases chances of cavities and tooth decay. The receding gums also gives bacteria and plaque entry to the bones of the oral cavity which damages them and causes tooth to loosen or even fall out.
Stages of Periodontal Disease
Stage 1: Gingivitis
This is the earliest stage of gum disease that is as a result of plaque build-up on the teeth’s surface and gumline. Its symptoms often go by unnoticed because they are very mild and most people will hardly seek treatment at this stage. It is however very important that you are able to get proper treatment at this stage as the effects of gingivitis can be reversed. At this point the bone or connective tissue of the tooth are still in good shape and good hygiene combined with a professional cleaning will save you from you further devastating symptoms and need for invasive treatments.
Common indicators for gingivitis include redness and swelling of gums, bad breath and bleeding of the gums especially when brushing or flossing. If you notice any of these sign sand you are in Wall Township, NJ, contact Susan J. Curley DDS dentistry and book an appointment to get proper diagnosis and necessary treatment.
Stage 2: Periodontitis
When gingivitis is left untreated, you get into the second stage of gum disease known as periodontitis. At this point your teeth and gums are damaged to a point that it cannot be reversed. The infection has spread deep into the gums affecting supporting bone and this can lead to bone loss. You may still not experience any obvious or painful symptoms at this stage. Redness of the gums may increase, so will the bleeding and your breath may also worsen.
The solution at this point requires more than daily oral hygiene. You will need to visit the dentist for scaling and root planning to remove the plaque and tartar deposits causing the infection.
Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis
In advanced periodontitis, the bone supporting the teeth as well as supporting structures are greatly damaged. This is evidenced by severe tooth decay or loose teeth that may eventually fall out. In this phase there will be more obvious signs but unfortunately it may be too late to save the tooth. You may experience receding gums, pain when chewing, oozing of pus between teeth and the gum line, mouth soreness, shifting teeth and changes in your bite.
Early Signs and Symptoms
Having understood how each stage of periodontal disease affects you, below is a brief of what initial signs to look out for that can help prevent the disease from advancing.
- Gums that are swollen, tender and have redness. Healthy gums should have a pink color and feel comfortable to touch.
- Bleeding gums. It isn’t normal to bleed from the gums and it is an indicator of an underlying issue.
- Mouth sores. Although mostly harmless, they could also be sign of periodontal disease or mouth cancer.
- Gum recession and increased tooth sensitivity
How to Prevent Periodontitis
The most effective way to prevent periodontitis is to ensure you adhere to a strict oral hygiene routine. Starting to care for your teeth from a young age and consistently throughout your lifetime greatly contributes to good dental health. At Susan J. Curley DDS, we advise patients to brush teeth at least twice daily and floss at least once a day. You should brush your teeth for about two minutes and do so using a fluoride toothpaste. These hygiene practices help remove unwanted bacteria from the mouth that could lead to periodontal disease.
Regular dental exams are also necessary and should be performed every 6 to 12 months. During the exams a hygienist will professionally clean your teeth and administer preventive treatment like fluoride application. It is also at this time that the dentist will check for any abnormalities in your gums, tongue,, teeth and jaw that could be an indication of a disease.