Periodontal disease, which people often refer to as gum disease, is a progressive condition affecting the gums. The cause is infections resulting from mouth bacteria, which leads to inflammation and can make the gums swollen and red, or even bleed in some cases. Other symptoms of periodontal disease include bad breath. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you may have early-stage periodontal disease.
A confusing thing about periodontal disease is that it is divided into stages. Within these stages, there are also degrees of severity and progression – so this can complicate matters further. The stages of periodontal disease are as follows:
- Gingivitis: You can reverse the early stages of gum disease, which is known as gingivitis. Gingivitis primarily affects the teeth, if bacteria remains on the teeth too long it forms plaque, which coats the gums and teeth. As a result, it is very important to brush your teeth and remove plaque build-up before it worsens.
- Periodontitis: This is the more serious form of gum disease, where the gum can pull away from the bone, which may require surgery. As plaque builds up tartar forms. Plaque and tartar are different, tartar is the build-up of calcified plaque, which is porous and will become a breeding ground for bacteria.
Smoking and poor oral hygiene are leading risk factors for periodontal disease. All you have to do is practice good oral hygiene as well as have regular cleanings and checkups to significantly reduce your risk. However, people with risk factors such as diabetes, heredity, or defective fillings may be unable to prevent their gum disease.
Most people will have some form of gum disease in their life. It can be worrisome to confront a dental issue if you are a nervous patient, which is why specialise in treating people with dental phobias in our Brighton-based clinic. You will get a swift, convenient appointment when you get in touch with our friendly team.
What Are the Treatment Options for Periodontal Disease?
The stage of gum disease is the most important factor when deciding on treatment options. The best strategy is prevention, which is why we offer preventative treatments that will help to control or reduce the effects of periodontal disease – as well as many other conditions.
A dentist will first examine your gums to determine the severity of the issue before recommending a treatment option to control the infection. The following are some common treatment options for the different stages of periodontal disease:
- Early periodontal disease: You can remove plaque and stop periodontal disease from developing in the early stages when you have gingivitis. As a result, you may only require regular cleanings with a dental hygienist and better brushing and flossing habits at home to reverse the condition.
- Moderate periodontal disease: For moderate gum disease, a deep cleaning process known as scaling and root planing will be necessary for tartar that has formed below the gumline. If you need treatment for the gums, bones and surrounding tissues, this may be the first step at this stage of the disease.
- Severe periodontal disease: If severe periodontal disease is present then treatment options are more extensive. Advanced periodontal disease may require significant work on the bone and tissue. Gum flap surgery will be necessary for the most severe cases that affect teeth, gums and bones.
Getting the best dental treatments can be an issue, particularly with severe gum disease – as poor quality treatments can often make it uncomfortable to smile. Our cosmetic dental treatments make sure that any psychological issues are mitigated.
It is essential to seek treatment for any stage of periodontal disease. Gum disease may even cause an emergency issue, such as tooth loss or intense pain. In this case, you should immediately seek emergency dental treatment.
Everything You Need to Know About Periodontal Disease
The stages of periodontal disease will dictate the appropriate treatment. You can avoid most of the risk factors for periodontal disease by practising good oral hygiene and having regular deep cleanings – as well as avoiding tobacco use. A professional cleaning will result in the thorough removal of all plaque and tartar.
Left untreated periodontal disease will lead to tooth loss, bone loss and gum tissue problems – or even wider issues in the body if the infection spreads. As a result, early protection from proper brushing and flossing baits is the best solution. Please feel free to get in touch with us if you need an appointment in our Brighton-based clinic.
FAQs and Useful Information
The following are some common questions about gum disease and the services we provide:
In the early stages, gum disease is reversible. Gum disease begins with gingivitis, which if left untreated will become an irreversible condition called periodontitis. All cases of periodontitis come after gingivitis, but not all cases of gingivitis will develop into periodontitis. To find a suitable treatment to reverse the effects of gum disease, or treat periodontitis you should seek immediate attention from a reputable dentist.
Most people experience some or more of the symptoms of periodontal disease, even if you practice good dental hygiene. Early warning signs to look out for include bite changes, foul-smelling breath, redness in the gums, bleeding gums during daily hygiene practices, gums tender to the touch, receding gums, tooth loosening, new gaps in the teeth, pain while chewing, blood on the toothbrush and gum swelling. If you frequently notice these conditions you should step up your hygiene routine and see a dentist.
No. Periodontal disease is a result of infection and inflammation caused by bacteria, while the bacteria can spread via your saliva the condition itself is not contagious. Practising simple hygiene such as not sharing eating utensils is usually sufficient to stop the threat of any bacteria spreading and affecting the gums, so this is not a big issue either.
Chances of developing periodontal disease from lack of check-ups and oral care are heavily dependent on your genetics. Your genetic risk for periodontal disease may mean that you have to practice a higher level of dental care to make sure it does not develop or worsen.
With sufficient oral care, avoidance of preventable risk factors, regular checkups and professional cleanings it is possible to heal the early stages of periodontal disease, as well as reverse or control a range of other dental conditions.
Gum disease is a progressive condition. As a result, without treatment, it will not improve by itself or go away. With periodontal disease, you may find a wide range of unpleasant issues, such as tooth loosening, tooth loss, gum recession and gum loss and other painful symptoms. The effects of untreated gum disease is an issue for both physical and mental health, as severe cases can result in significant psychological damage
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