Are you dealing with sensitive, bleeding gums, bad breath and a bad taste that won’t go away? You may have gingivitis! While gingivitis is common, it can take on a much more serious form if left untreated: periodontal disease. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, three out of four Americans have some form of periodontal disease and only 3 out of 100 will get treated before it’s too late. Here are some tips to help you spot, treat and stay protected from this chronic disease.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, better known as gum disease, affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. It is caused by plaque – a sticky film that continuously grows on your teeth containing living bacteria. If plaque is not removed, it hardens to become tartar, which can then lead to infection if it gets under the gum line. Pockets form between the teeth and gums which make it harder to remove the plaque. The deeper the pockets, the greater the severity of the disease. When periodontal disease is ignored and left untouched, it can lead to extensive bone destruction and tooth loss.
Signs and Symptoms
During the early stages of periodontal disease there is little-to-no pain, but the warning signs can be evident. Symptoms for early to severe cases include:
- Bleeding and inflamed gums
- Bad breath and taste
- Receding gums
- Root exposure
- Teeth sensitivity to hot, cold and touch
- Spacing and loosening of teeth
- Pockets ranging from 4mm deep to 6mm or deeper between teeth and gums
Prevention and Treatment
Thankfully, with thorough brushing and flossing as well as professional dental cleaning appointments every six months, you can remove this bacteria and buildup to prevent periodontal disease.
With clinical treatment and oral hygiene instruction in our non-surgical periodontal program, we can stabilize and treat gum disease. For more severe cases, you may be referred to a Periodontist. Call today to learn more about our periodontal program or to schedule your cleaning with Dr. Stante to better protect your teeth, gums and overall health.