Gum Disease or Periodontal Disease not only affects the mouth but has been shown to increase the incidence of heart attacks, strokes, low birth-weight babies, and premature baby deliveries. Periodontal Disease is a very serious disease and should not be ignored. If gums begin to swell and bleed, gum disease may be setting in or might have already set in. Always consult with a periodontist at the first sign of Periodontal Disease.
Gum Disease is caused by bacteria that are found in plaque. The number one cause of Periodontal Disease is lack of proper care of teeth and gums. Periodontitis is not only the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, but it is also considered to be contagious. The best way to prevent Periodontitis is to brush and floss your teeth daily, and to see a Periodontist regularly. Periodontitis is very treatable. So if Periodontal Disease has set in, a Periodontist can help. Periodontal Disease can be anyone of three different stages. The three stages of Periodontitis are as follows:
- Early Periodontitis –In this stage plaquehas already built up and hardened around and under the gums allowing more harmful bacteria to attach the gum tissue and bone tissue. The gums pull away from the teeth forming pockets of bacterial infection.
- Moderate Periodontitis – In this stage, the pockets that have already formed start to deepen as they fill with more plaque, toxins, and bacteria. The Pockets are six to seven millimeters deep. At this stage the Periodontitis can still be treated non-surgically; however, one-third of the bone supporting the teeth has been irreversibly lost.
- Advanced Periodontitis – In this stage, the gums severely recede from the tooth and the pockets deepen and fill with pus. There may be swelling, sensitivity to hot or cold, and or pain when brushing or cleaning teeth. As Advanced Periodontitis progresses bone continues to be lost and eventually teeth may be lost.
Adult Gum Disease is usually not painful, and many time progresses slowly. The patient may not even be aware of Periodontitis until the advanced stages increasing the risk of Tooth Loss. Have your gums checked thoroughly and regularly. A dental hygienist can detect the early stages of gum disease, when it is the easiest to treat.