You’ve probably heard the term “gingivitis” at the dentist and in toothpaste commercials, but you might not have given it a second thought. You really should, though. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of periodontal disease or gum disease. It’s often overlooked, but if it’s not treated, it can lead to gum and bone recession and even tooth loss. Gum disease is also linked to other conditions like heart disease and stroke, so learning to recognize its symptoms is key to stopping it in its tracks.
Stages of Gum Disease
Don’t worry. You won’t just wake up one morning with advanced-stage periodontitis without any warning signs. They may be difficult to spot if you’re not looking for them, but the signs are there, and gum disease progresses through stages.
First up is gingivitis, which typically involves red or inflamed gums and bleeding when you brush and floss. If you notice either of these signs, let us know at your next appointment so we can take a closer look and begin treatment if necessary. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to the formation of periodontal pockets, which are spaces between the teeth and gums. These pockets become infected as they deepen, and they also allow gum tissue and bone to be destroyed. The final stage is periodontitis. Here, bone and gum loss are extensive and teeth are often so loose that they must be extracted.
Gum Disease Symptoms
If you notice any of these symptoms, call our office to schedule an appointment.
- Red, swollen, or sensitive gums
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth or a change in the way they line up
- Sores in the mouth
- Bad breath or constant metallic taste
Is All Hope Lost?
Definitely not! It’s important that you see us as soon as you can, though, to begin treatment. Studies have shown a link, though not a cause-and-effect relationship yet, between your periodontal health and your heart health, so keeping those gums in shape in important. If you suspect that you have early stage gum disease, contact High Point Family Dentistry. Dr. Kong will gladly take a look and recommend a treatment plan that will keep you healthy.
Contact us today to schedule your next appointment!