Periodontal (gum) disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. You may think that couldn’t happen to you, but if you are over the age of 30, there’s nearly a 50% chance that you have some form of periodontal disease. The type of treatment you need will depend on how advanced the gum disease has become.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Gum disease is caused by a buildup of hardened tartar called plaque. If the plaque is not removed, it will continue to build up and can lead to infection of the gums. There are two stages — gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the early stage. If caught at this stage, the disease is treatable, and damage can be reversed. Symptoms can include gums that are red, swollen, or bleed easily, gums that are pulled from the teeth, loose teeth, and more. Gum disease often goes unnoticed, so regularly scheduled checkups and cleanings are hugely beneficial.
Periodontitis, the more serious and damaging stage, results when gingivitis is left untreated. Periodontitis can cause teeth to become loose or fall out, and bone loss is possible. It’s not just teeth that are affected. The infection from periodontitis can quickly spread into your bloodstream without proper treatment and potentially be life-threatening.
Treatment for Gum Disease
The type of treatment will depend on how advanced the periodontal disease has become. The earlier it is caught, the less aggressive the treatment required. In mild to moderate cases, scaling and root planing to remove tartar and plaque from surfaces below the gumline can discourage bacteria growth. In other cases, antibiotic treatments to help control the infection may be necessary. Surgery can reduce the size of the pockets between your tooth and gum caused by periodontitis, allowing your gums to reattach to your teeth.
Catch Gum Disease Early
At Friendly Family Dentistry, we are ready to answer any questions about gum disease you may have. Prevention is the best policy, and that’s why we emphasize proper oral hygiene and regular checkups. When gum disease is present, the earlier it is detected, the better the treatment results. If you are in the Terre Haute, Indiana, area, contact our office today to schedule a consultation so we can get you on the road to recovery.