Gum disease is very common. In fact, about 46% of adults show signs of the condition. However, just because it’s common doesn't mean it can’t have a big impact.
While you may know that this inflammatory disease affects your oral health, if it’s allowed to progress, it can affect your overall health, too.
The providers at Trident Dental in Houston are experts in treating gum disease. And while there are a number of options that can treat this disease, the condition will cause far less damage — and be much easier to treat — if it’s caught in its early stages.
In this blog, our providers explain what gum disease is, why early treatment matters, and how it can be treated.
The stages of gum disease and why early treatment matters
Gum disease develops when plaque builds up along your gum line. The toxins and bacteria in plaque makes the soft tissue vulnerable to infection. While brushing and flossing can remove a lot of plaque, there are areas your toothbrush just can’t reach.
A professional cleaning can get this lingering plaque, but if you skip an appointment or two, you’re at risk of developing mild gum disease. Gum disease in the early stage is called gingivitis.
Common early warning signs of gingivitis include:
- Swollen gums
- Dark red gums
- Bad breath
- Bleeding of the gums when brushing or flossing
- Tender gums
When gum disease is treated at this stage, it’s very treatable. However, if it progresses beyond this stage, it can cause widespread damage and be more difficult to treat.
If gingivitis progresses, you end up with periodontitis, or full-blown gum disease.
When periodontitis sets in, the damage to the gums can be irreversible. Furthermore it could result in tooth loss and shifting teeth. Both of these issues can interfere with your ability to chew foods and even speak properly.
Furthermore, advanced gum disease is associated with total body inflammation and the development of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
As you can see, treating gum disease in its earliest stages is by far the better option, because doing so could protect you from any systemic effects of periodontitis.
Treating gum disease in its early or late stages
If you have gum disease or want to see if you do, our team can thoroughly evaluate your gums and teeth and design a treatment plan to help your oral health. As part of your treatment, we’ll measure the pockets between your gums and teeth. These measurements reveal how tight of a grip your gums have on your teeth. We’ll also clean your teeth and remove any plaque.
If your gum disease is in the early stages, we can discuss how you can care for your teeth and gums better. We may also recommend a few extra professional cleanings.
If you have advanced gum disease, we may recommend scaling and root planing. With this treatment, we use an ultrasonic cleaner to remove the plaque and tartar(hardened plaque) beneath your gum line. We then smooth the roots of your teeth to help the gum tissue adhere to them again.
If you have gum disease, we’ll do everything we can to help stop its progression and reverse it. To get a thorough evaluation, call 281-975-4915 or book an appointment online with Trident Dental today.