Gum disease affects nearly half of all American adults, and many people are not aware that they’re affected by this chronic oral health issue. While the first stage of gum disease causes no permanent damage, unchecked gum disease can irreversibly damage your gums and teeth. Learn more below, or contact Riverwalk Dental Care for an appointment now.
Periodontal disease, also known as “gum disease,” is a chronic infection of the gum tissue. It’s caused by the uncontrolled buildup of oral bacteria, which results in bacteria-filled plaque and tartar forming between the teeth and gums.
Over time, the bacteria in plaque and tartar attack the surrounding gum tissue. At first, this causes minor issues like gum inflammation. Eventually, though, this results in irreparable damage to the gums and teeth.
The best way to avoid gum disease is to brush your teeth properly, floss once per day, maintain a healthy diet, and see a dentist like Dr. David Nill for a teeth cleaning and oral exam every six months.
The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. This stage of the disease does not cause permanent damage to the teeth and gums, and can be treated with better at-home oral hygiene and deep cleanings from Dr. David Nill.
Left untreated, gingivitis will progress into “periodontitis,” the second stage of gum disease. In this stage, serious damage has been done to the teeth and gums, but proper intervention from a dentist can halt the progression of the disease, and prevent further deterioration.
The final stage is typically called “advanced periodontitis.” In this stage of the disease, surgery will almost always be required to restore your oral health, and it may not be possible to save your teeth.
Gingivitis has relatively minor symptoms. You may notice your gums bleed easily and are tender to the touch, or they look inflamed, swollen, or discolored. Halitosis (bad breath) is also common.
The second stage of gum disease, periodontitis, often causes more serious symptoms like gum recession, which makes the teeth look longer. Your teeth may feel tender when you chew or bite, and you may also notice more inflammation and discoloration of the gum tissue.
The final stage of gum disease, advanced periodontitis, has the most severe symptoms. Your teeth may become loose and your bite may change, or you may lose one or more teeth entirely. Other common symptoms include a foul taste in your mouth, severe bad breath, and pus building up between the gums and teeth.
If you have gum disease in Norwalk, Dr. David Nill is here to help with a customized periodontal treatment plan at Riverwalk Dental Care. Depending on your case, this may include scaling & root planing (deep cleaning), antibiotic treatment, or even surgical treatments like gum grafting or gum flap surgery.
At your consultation, Dr. Nill will discuss your oral health and the severity of your gum disease in detail, and help you develop a custom treatment plan that will halt or reverse the infection, keeping your mouth healthy.