Gum disease is a serious disease that can affect not only the patient’s mouth, but also their entire body. In fact, gum disease has been linked with a number of other medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes, strokes, lung issues, and pre-term birth, just to name a few. Diagnosing and treating gum disease can result in a healthier mouth and overall body health.
Gum disease has several stages and is determined by the bone loss and pocket depth, not necessarily plaque accumulation. The four stages of gum disease are as follows:
The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. This is when the gum tissue may become inflamed and patients may experience bleeding of the gums when they brush or floss.
In this stage, the gums may begin to pull away from the teeth, creating minimal pocket depths. This encourages plaque, tartar, and bacteria to form and become much more aggressive.
In the third stage of gum disease, bone loss begins to occur, which can cause tooth mobility. Gums will bleed and visible areas of pocket depth and plaque build-up may appear.
All you need to know about gum disease explained by Dr. Brianne Luu
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is when your gum is infected. There are different levels of gum disease that range from mild to severe. It begins with bacterial growth in your mouth, and when untreated, may end up in tooth loss.
What factors cause gum disease?
Some of the causes of gum disease are poor oral hygiene, which means not brushing or flossing regularly and properly.
Habits such as smoking, poor nutritional intake can result in bone loss as well, while it could be hereditary too.
Hormonal changes cause gum disease as well, such as pregnancy, puberty, menopause, etc. If you have illnesses such as cancer, HIV disease, or disease that affect the immune system, these can also result in gum disease.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
Signs can be red, swollen, tender gums. Bleeding gums when brushing and flossing. Persistent bad breath and receding gums.
We can determine the stage of the gum disease by checking the pocket that develops between the teeth and the surrounding gum, assessing the mobility of each tooth, and also evaluating the severity of bone loss based on radiographs.
At this point, bone loss is advanced and teeth may begin to loosen and fall out. Pocket depths are extremely noticeable.
While gum disease is not curable, it is manageable. When caught in the earlier stages, Dr. Luu of Gentle Care Dentistry of San Gabriel Valley will be able to diagnose and offer treatment to reverse some of the cosmetic and bacterial damage that may have occurred. Patients can undergo scaling and root planning to minimize pocket depth, and will be given extensive instructions when it comes to home care to maintain a healthy mouth. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are encouraged to manage gum disease and improve the condition of the gums, bones, and teeth.
Do you think you may be suffering from gum disease? Are you interested in learning more about the risks of periodontal disease and how to care for your teeth in an attempt to avoid it? Call Dr. Luu of Gentle Care Dentistry of San Gabriel Valley today and find out how early detection and treatment can make a huge difference in a patient’s overall health and well-being.