October 1, 2018
Did you know gum disease affects around 80% of Americans sometime in their lives? This disease is an inflammation of the gums that can progress to affect the bone that supports and surrounds your teeth. It’s caused by plaque that forms on your gumline, and if the plaque isn’t removed, it will build up and affect your gums. In more advanced stages, it will eventually infect the bone structure that supports your smile, leading to loosened teeth and tooth loss. Keep reading to learn the stages of gum disease, the signs to look out for, and how it’s treated from your dentist in Enterprise.
What Are the Stages of Gum Disease?
There are 3 stages of gum disease:
This is the earliest stage of gum disease. It’s an inflammation of the gums caused by plaque buildup at the gumline. If this plaque isn’t removed by routine brushing and flossing, it produces toxins that cause gingivitis and irritate gum tissue. This early stage can still be reversed because the bone and connective tissue hasn’t been affected yet.
Once the disease has reached this stage, the supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth are damaged irreversibly. You may start to notice little pockets at the base of your teeth, which can become home to bacteria and food debris. Proper treatment and improved oral hygiene can usually prevent any further damage.
Unfortunately, if the disease reaches this stage, your bone and fibers supporting your teeth are heavily damaged, which can lead to shifting of teeth. If the disease is too far gone where aggressive treatment won’t help, your teeth may need to be removed.
What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?
Catch gum disease while it’s still reversible by being on the lookout for the following symptoms:
- Red, puffy, swollen, or tender gums
- Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
- Receding gums
- Gums that look separated from teeth
- Constant bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
How is Gum Disease Treated?
The good news is, if you catch your gum disease early on, proper brushing and flossing can often reverse it. The key is to keep that harmful plaque from building up.
If plaque has built up enough that it hardens into tartar. You will need a professional cleaning because only dentists or hygienists will be able to remove tartar above and below the gumline to prevent disease.If your condition is more severe, your dentist may recommend a root planing procedure. With this treatment, your dentist can smooth out your tooth’s roots to make it harder for plaque to live under the gumline.
To prevent gum disease all together, practice a good oral health routine, with daily brushing and flossing. Additionally, see your dentist twice a year to remove any plaque or tartar that you can’t clean yourself.
Meet the Dentist
A graduate of Oregon Health and Science University, Dr. Tyler Schaffeld enjoys providing quality care for his patients in Enterprise. He believes in patient education, which is why he provides information about gum disease and how it can affect your smile. He currently runs his own practice, and he can be contacted through his website or by phone at (541) 426-3783 for any questions.
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