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With regards to oral health, most people when asked would probably say that their teeth are what matters most. What shouldn’t be overlooked, however, is the condition of your gums. If your gums are not healthy and are showing signs of gum disease, it can be detrimental to the rest of your mouth.
Fortunately, when gum disease is still in its early stages, it is reversible. You can even prevent the onset of a periodontal or gum disease entirely with proper oral hygiene habits. Yet, if you notice tenderness, pain, or discomfort, our dentists can help.
In this blog we’ll be discussing the primary stages of gum disease, common symptoms, and what treatment looks like for patients.
The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis. It is typical at this stage for the gums to become inflamed and easily bleed during tooth brushing. This is due to plaque buildup.
When an individual experiences gingivitis, they have gum irritation but do not yet have any irreversible bone or tissue damage and their teeth are still firmly intact. It is when gingivitis is left untreated and able to progress, that it develops into periodontitis which is much more serious.
Periodontitis encapsulates the later stages of gum disease and has greater oral health consequences. Unlike gingivitis which is reversible, periodontitis is a long-term and chronic condition.
Later stages of periodontitis can lead to destroyed bone tissue, loosened teeth, or even loss of teeth. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to come to this as gum disease can largely be prevented with consistent oral care and routine teeth cleanings every 6 months.
It can be easy to ignore certain symptoms of gum disease. For example, if you notice your gums becoming a bit red or bleeding during flossing, you might think you’ve just been too heavy- handed.
Regarding your gums, if you experience any new discomfort or a changed appearance, it’s important that you see our dentists before your condition progresses beyond quick treatment.
The symptoms listed below do not always guarantee that you have gum disease, but you should take note of them nonetheless.
Key warning signs include:
The earlier concerning symptoms are caught, the easier it is for both you and our dentists to treat them.
Through restorative dentistry efforts, varying degrees of gum disease can be effectively treated. One form of treatment for periodontal disease is scaling and root planing. Essentially, it involves a deep cleaning of your gums and teeth.
Oftentimes, those afflicted with gum disease have deep gum pockets around their teeth which allows food particles and plaque to settle there. For this type of treatment, our dentists will remove the plaque and tartar from and below the gum line.
After that, they will smooth out your tooth roots to aid your gums in reattaching to the teeth. Gum recession is a common problem for those dealing with periodontal disease so this is a necessary step.
Other than this procedure, it’s all about formulating proper oral hygiene habits and sticking to them. Certain products or techniques may also be recommended to you by our dentists to help keep your mouth healthy.
Have you noticed new symptoms similar to those mentioned above and feel you might be experiencing some stage of gum disease? Our experienced dentists in Grand Haven and Grand Rapids, MI, are well versed in treating patients struggling with gum disease.
Contact us online to schedule an appointment or call one of our locations today to set up a time that works best for you.
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