Periodontal Care: Gum Disease

Periodontal care focuses on the health of the tissues and structures surrounding the teeth. Maintaining these helps to prevent or reverse gum disease. It is important to schedule regular appointments with a dental hygienist (every 6 months) to treat existing gum disease or avoid it altogether!

Gum disease is the inflammation of gum tissues due to bacteria and plaque at the gumline.  If left untreated, gum disease will progressively worsen, ultimately leading to the deterioration of the soft tissues and supporting bone.  If caught and treated early enough, gum disease is reversible.  

Stage 1: Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease.  It is reversible, but only with the proper treatment.  The symptoms of gingivitis include swollen and  tender gums; gums that bleed while brushing, flossing, or sometimes when eating hard foods; and persistent bad breath. 

Stage 2: Periodontitis

Periodontitis, or Stage 2 gum disease, is irreversible gum disease. At this point, the infection has compromised the supporting structures around the teeth. The attachment of the gums to the teeth will deteriorate, and gum tissues may begin to recede.  Bone loss may also occur.  The gums will be sensitive and bleed when brushing and flossing; hard foods may also cause discomfort and bleeding.  Persistent bad breath is also a sign of periodontitis.

Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis

Stage 3 of gum disease is Advanced Periodontitis; it has all of the same symptoms of gingivitis and periodontitis.  At this point in gum disease, teeth can become mobile and shift–in some cases teeth may even need to be removed.

Preventing Gum Disease

In dentistry, prevention is key!  Preventing gum disease is simply a matter of creating good hygiene habits.  By getting back to basics and scheduling regular cleaning appointments, gum disease can be easily avoided!  

If you have not had a cleaning within the last 6 months please call us!