According to the Journal of Periodontology, gum disease is a very common condition that affects more than 46% of adults in the United States. There are basically two different forms of this condition. These are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the most common form, and it can be cured relatively easily. Unfortunately, gum disease can progress to a more problematic condition, also known as periodontitis. Here are the stages of gum disease.
Gingivitis occurs when the plaque in your mouth is not cleaned away. Your body will react to this plaque, causing an auto-immune reaction that causes inflammation of the gums. The majority of people have a little bit of gingivitis in their mouths. When the plaque is not dealt with, it will turn into tartar. Because gingivitis is often painless, most people tend to ignore it. To help reverse this gingivitis, it’s best to visit your dentist or periodontist. If left untreated, it can progress to periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease has four stages. The first stage is when the inflammation of the gums becomes destructive. This damages the fibers that join the roots of the teeth to the socket. Unfortunately, this damage is permanent. Treatment at this stage is through a process known as debridement, which involves the removal of bacteria and calculus from gums and the roots of your teeth.
Stage two or moderate periodontal disease features more extensive damage to ligaments between the root of the tooth and its socket. If this condition is not attended to, it will proceed to stage three, where there is a potential for tooth loss. This condition can also produce chronic halitosis, also known as bad breath. Apart from that, your teeth can start moving, and they will actually appear longer due to the recession of gums. You can also get localized swellings which can be quite painful.
In the last stage of periodontal disease, you can lose all your teeth, and the ones that remain are usually loose. This is because the teeth won't have enough gum or bone to support them and chewing food will become very difficult. You must get treatment at this stage. Failure to do so can lead to other complicated health problems like diabetes or even a heart attack. Unfortunately, the disease cannot be treated once it gets to this stage, it can only be managed.
These are the stages of gum disease. Practice good oral hygiene, which includes brushing at least twice a day, preferably after every meal and schedule routine dental cleanings with your dentist. Following an oral health plan is important to ensure you don’t end up with this disease or others associated with poor dental hygiene.
If you start noticing any signs of these conditions, you need to consult a dentist as soon as possible.
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