Gum disease is one of the most prevalent dental issues in America. As the disease develops in three different stages, paying careful attention to its symptoms can help you identify it early. When you go in for a cleaning, your dentist in Winchester, VA will help you catch the signs of gum disease early so that the condition can be treated before it becomes irreversible.
The early signs and stages of gum disease are reversible but the later stages are not. This is why it is essential to know the symptoms of gum disease and practice good oral hygiene. Put simply, gum disease is an inflammation around the gum line, where your teeth and roots reside. Inflammation of the gum line can impact the connective gum tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth and the jawbones. If the gum tissues start to deteriorate, you can experience major dental problems and issues with the structure of your teeth. The best way to prevent gum disease from developing and becoming severe over time is to keep your gums healthy. If you want to know more about the causes of gum disease, please read this article.
Understanding the Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease develops over three stages – gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. The first stage – gingivitis is both reversible and preventable with good oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings. Visiting a periodontist dentist near you will help in preventing gum disease from impacting your dental and overall health.
1. The First Stage – Gingivitis
This is the earliest or the mildest stage of gum disease. As patients experience no to little discomfort if they have gingivitis, it can often remain undetected. The best way to identify periodontal disease is to look out for signs such as swelling redness or bleeding while flossing or brushing. Gingivitis mostly occurs due to improper oral hygiene. Luckily, it is reversible with proper treatment. When you visit a dentist near you in Winchester, VA; ask your dentist to look for signs of gingivitis. Catching the disease early at your next dental check-up is an effective way of preventing it from developing into severe periodontitis.
2. The Second Stage – Periodontitis
When left untreated, gingivitis advances to the next stage called periodontitis. During this stage, the plaque has build-up along the gum line and toxins start to accumulate in the gums. When periodontal disease has developed, the gums have been permanently damaged and they cannot return to their normal state. It is imperative to seek treatment as the condition will only worsen over time if it is left untreated. In this stage, pockets become visible between the teeth and the gums and plaque and food start getting trapped in these pockets easily. In this situation, you will need to follow a strict oral hygiene routine to prevent the condition from becoming severe.
3. The Third Stage – Advanced Periodontitis
Once the gums have reached this stage, the infection causes gums to deteriorate and lose the ability to support the teeth. This is because the connective tissue and supporting bone become weak over time. Some patients can start to see their teeth loosen and shift because their gums are too weak to hold them in place. Professional periodontal therapy is necessary at this stage to treat the condition, along with effective oral care at home. If the disease has advanced a lot, tooth extraction may become imperative.
Periodontal Disease – Treatment and Prevention
The key to preventing gum disease is proper oral healthcare such as proper brushing and flossing. You should also schedule regular dental appointments for proper teeth cleaning and plaque removal. If your dentist spots any signs of gum disease, they can give advice on proper oral healthcare. For minor gingivitis, professional cleaning and fluoride treatments can be beneficial. For advanced stages, periodontal therapy in Winchester VA including gum grafting surgery may be necessary..
If you think you have any of the symptoms of a gum disease or experience pain, the Smiles of Virginia Family Dental Center team is here to help you. Don’t give gum disease a chance to expand. Get professional help today.