Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease, presents a major risk to your oral health. Without proper treatment, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other complications. To help you protect teeth and gums and spot the common signs of gum disease, we’ve put together this helpful guide.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease has two stages: gingivitis (gum inflammation) and periodontitis (gum disease). At the gingivitis stage, symptoms are milder, and treatment is possible. In this stage, bacteria and plaque buildup on the surface of teeth, causing gums to become inflamed and irritated. Over time, plaque can harden into tartar, a damaging bio compound that can only be removed during a professional cleaning.
Left unaddressed, gingivitis can develop into periodontitis. At this stage, the irritation and inflammation caused by plaque and tartar cause gums to pull away from the tooth surface. This leaves small pockets between the teeth and gums that can become infected. As the disease progresses, it works to destroy gum tissue and bone.
What Are Common Signs of Gum Disease?
Here’s the good news about gum disease: in most cases it can be treated and reversed, if caught early. The common signs of gum disease include changes to your gums like swelling, tenderness, or redness. If you notice that your gums are bleeding easily whenever you brush or floss, you may have gingivitis.
What Should I Do If I Have Signs of Gum Disease?
To reverse the course of gum disease and protect your pearly whites, there are two steps you should take. First, call our office to schedule an appointment. Dr. Kong and our team can evaluate your gum health and provide a professional cleaning or other treatments to restore your gum health. Second, start following a good at-home oral care routine. Brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing every day can keep gum disease from developing. To ask our team any questions or to schedule an appointment, call us today!