Gum disease can affect your health.
Gum disease is one of the most common dental health issues with more than 75% of adults having some form of the disease at some point in their lives.
Treating gum disease is important for both dental health and overall health as many studies have shown the relationship between poor oral health and physical health issues such as heart disease and diabetes, among others. (Check out this link for more information: http://www.perio.org/consumer/other-diseases .)
Patients may not realize that they have gum disease, as in the early stages the symptoms are very minor or sometimes even absent. Much like the process of heart disease, your doctor may see warning signs for trouble ahead long before you have any symptoms. In advanced stages, gum disease can even lead to tooth loss.
Stages of Gum Disease
Gingivitis: this is the earliest stage of gum disease and when it is the most treatable. Gingivitis may be characterized by sensitive or bleeding gums because the soft tissue has become somewhat inflamed due to the presence of harmful bacteria.
Periodontitis: the later form of gum disease, periodontitis develops when gum disease has advanced enough to cause substantial irritation and swelling, creating holes in the bone around the teeth. These holes are created by the destruction of the bone and ligaments that hold your teeth in place thanks to certain bacteria. Once these areas of destruction exist the bacteria are more difficult to remove, creating a greater amount of destruction, left untreated this leads to loose or lost teeth.
Dr. Gardner offers periodontal therapy to treat gum disease and restore oral health. For patients with gingivitis, or the earliest signs of gum disease, a thorough cleaning may be sufficient. In some cases a procedure called scaling and root planing, an intense cleaning and disinfection of the deeper recesses of the gums, is required to remove plaque and prevent further damage.
Restoring gum health is important in order to keep the teeth strong and healthy- maintaining a good oral hygiene routine at home is also a part of keeping gum disease from developing or returning.