Periodontal disease is a common and fairly easily treated issue that faces about half of all Americans. The catch, though, is that it’s only easy to treat in its early stages.
In the earliest stages of gum disease, treatment can be as simple as a medicated mouthwash and a better oral hygiene regimen. But as it progresses, the treatments get more and more involved.
Periodontal Disease Cause
The most common cause of gum disease is bacterial clustering around and under the gumline. Bacteria must be cleared away regularly to prevent the plaque it leaves behind from hardening.
Hardened plaque, called calculus or tartar, protects bacteria and allows it to continue growing. Tartar is also more difficult to remove than plaque, as toothbrushes cannot sweep it away.
The protected bacteria is allowed to continue spreading, resulting in inflammation in the gums and the rising signs of periodontal disease.
Stages of Gum Disease
The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis. This is the most common stage people experience, though many may not realize they have it.
The symptoms of gingivitis are often pretty mild, with minor swelling of the gums and perhaps a small amount of bleeding while brushing.
The middle stage is Periodontitis, and it’s a little more aggressive. Symptoms typically include swollen and sometimes tender gums, a persistent bad breath, and as it progresses, receding gums.
This stage is a little more noticeable, and definitely warrants a visit to your Houston dentist.
The latest stage of gum disease is advanced Periodontitis, and it can be severe. The bacteria has caused gum tissue to degenerate, leading to loose teeth, possibly even teeth falling out, and can also lead to bone infections in the jaw.
Periodontal Disease Treatment in Houston
The sooner you see your Houston dentist or periodontist about your gum disease symptoms, the sooner you can start treatment and reverse the damage.
As gum disease progresses, it gets harder and harder to treat, so if you are experiencing symptoms, don’t delay in visiting your Houston dentist.