Gum disease is very common, but it also starts quite subtly. The early stages of gum disease are easily reversible, but you might not know that you have it. In the hope of avoiding complicated dental work, here are some fact about gum disease and tips on spotting the early signs.
Early signs of gum disease
The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis and it is simply caused by your gums becoming irritated by a large build-up of plaque. As mentioned earlier, this stage is completely reversible; you simply remove the plaque to remove the problem. If you don’t clean off the plaque, however, then your gum problems may develop further, so the trick is to catch it early. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen or inflamed gums, as well as gums that bleed after flossing or brushing. It should be noted that bleeding gums are normal for a brief period after you first start flossing, but should not be considered a normal outcome for flossing in general.
The later stages
The later stages are called periodontitis. If gingivitis goes untreated, then you may reach these later stages and your gums may start to move away from your teeth. Your gums can shrink away, leaving the roots of your teeth exposed. Your teeth can become loose and if left untreated, may eventually fall out. If the periodontitis has advanced to the point of damaging your bone structures, then there is little that can be done to reverse this. Treatment should still be sought, however, to prevent further damage. The symptoms of periodontitis are bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth, teeth becoming loose and pus developing between teeth.
Types of treatment
Should prevention no longer be the best option, your dentist can treat you with a meticulous type of cleaning referred to as ‘scaling’. If you have reached the stage of periodontitis, extensive scaling or root planning may be required. Root planning is a wide reaching clean under your gums, which removes the bacteria from the roots of your teeth. Gum tissue can also be grafted or crowns fitted to loose teeth in order to help treat gum disease at this stage. If you would like more information about gum disease and how to treat it, please contact the team at Advance Dental in Essex.