A healthy, beautiful smile is hard to come by if you are suffering from gum disease. One of our goals in providing you with excellent oral care is to help you avoid gum disease. What is gum disease, and is there just one type? Lifetime Family Dental, located in Gilbert, Arizona, is here to help answer these questions. Gum disease is talked about a lot in oral healthcare, but let’s look more into it.
What is Gum Disease?
The bacteria that sit on your teeth and create plaque are the culprits behind gum disease. Gum disease is inflammation of the gum that can progress to affecting the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. There are a couple of types of gum disease that can occur without proper prevention or treatment.
Types of Gum Disease
The longer bacteria is allowed to sit on your teeth, the more damage it can cause. The bacteria that form plaque secrete a toxin that irritates the gums. The beginning stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, which untreated can advance to periodontitis. If both these conditions are left untreated, you may experience tooth loss or other significant health problems.
- *Gingivitis: This is the milder aspect of gum disease, as it is the beginning stages of bacteria sitting on the teeth. Since it is a mild form of periodontal disease, it may go unnoticed with little to no discomfort occurring, and is usually caused by lack of oral health care. Other aspects that could increase the risk of gingivitis forming include inadequate nutrition, stress, aging, smoking, diabetes, substance abuse, HIV infection and certain medication use. Symptoms of this stage include your gums turning red, swelling and bleeding easily. Treatment at this stage is positive, as it can be reversed through professional care from your dentist and good oral home care.
- *Periodontitis: Untreated gingivitis leads to the more advanced stage of gum disease, which is periodontitis. This occurs when plaque and tartar build up on the surface of the tooth below your gum line, causing irritation, inflammation, and gum infection. Your gums begin to pull away from the tooth, allowing bacteria and food particles to build up even deeper in your gums. Greater levels of bacteria festering in your gums begins to affect your jaw bone, causing weakening. There are various stages of periodontitis based on the length of untreated gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss due to the lack of strength in the jaw bone.
In order to prevent gum disease as a whole, you need to have a great home oral care routine, as well as regular visits to your dentist. For more information regarding gum disease, contact Lifetime Family Dental today!
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (11/11/2017) 古 天熱 (Flickr)