As a leading cause of tooth loss among adults, gum disease is definitely not something to be ignored. The condition can be treated, and with the help of a dentist and good oral hygiene habits, even prevented. In this blog post, we'll discuss how to recognize the symptoms and stages of gum disease, and the ways in which Philadelphia cosmetic dentist Dr. Bruce Wilderman can help you keep your smile healthy and beautiful.
What is Gum Disease?
Everyone has good and bad bacteria inside their mouth. Bad bacteria forms plaque on teeth, a sticky film that can build up over time and cause oral health problems. Plaque left uncleaned will form tartar, which hardens on to the tooth and requires a professional dental cleaning to remove. Plaque and tartar are the primary cause of gum disease, also called periodontal disease. Gum disease has two main stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and is most commonly caused by plaque that is allowed to remain on the teeth. You may have gingivitis if your gums are swollen, red in color, and bleed easily. While gingivitis can progress and become more serious if left untreated, it can easily be reversed if the patient follows the recommend guidelines for brushing and flossing. When combined with regularly scheduled visits to your dentist, daily tooth brushing and daily cleaning between the teeth through flossing can successfully maintain the health of your teeth and gums.
What is Periodontitis?
If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a more troublesome form of gum disease. Periodontitis progresses through three stages as symptoms increase in severity: early, moderate, and advanced. During early and moderate periodontitis, loss of gum tissue can occur. As the gums are damaged and irritated by plaque and tartar, pockets that form between the teeth and gums become infected, leading to eventual bone loss. As the damage becomes advanced, the teeth can become loose; in the worst cases, the teeth may fall out or have to be removed by a dentist. Recognizing the symptoms of gingivitis and gum disease is vital to early prevention and care.
The Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Gums that bleed easily during or after tooth brushing
- Gums that are red, swollen, or shiny
- Gums that are receding (pulling away) from the tooth
- Bad breath or bad taste that doesn't go away
- Loose teeth
- Pus or infections between the teeth
- Changes in your bite or the way your teeth fit together
- Changes in the way a dental device or denture fits
Learn More About Gum Disease Treatment Options
Only a dentist can determine if you have gum disease, but there are many treatment options available for all stages of the disease, ranging from cleanings to more advanced procedures for loose and missing teeth. Placement of porcelain crowns, dental implants, and dental bridges in Philadelphia at Artistic Expressions Dentistry can restore teeth that have been damaged by gum disease.
Dr. Wilderman and his staff arelooking forward to helping you achieve and maintain your healthy, beautiful smile. Contact our Doylestown cosmetic dentistry office today to schedule an appointment.