According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 47.2% of adults aged 30 and older are suffering from some form of gum disease. Additionally, 70.1% of adults aged 65 and older are dealing with this condition. With so many people living with it, you may be surprised to learn that gum disease is easy to prevent. If It’s caught early enough, it can even be cured. Read on to learn more about the stages of gum disease and how your dentist can help.
Symptoms of Gingivitis
The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. As common as it is, this gum infection is usually the cause of poor oral hygiene. Even so, certain medications, genetics, hormonal changes (especially during pregnancy), and many other factors can also put patients at a higher risk of developing it. common symptoms of gingivitis include:
- Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
- Red, dark, puffy, or inflamed gums
- Gums that bleed easily, especially when you brush or floss
Treatments for Gingivitis
Improving your at-home oral hygiene routine may be enough to treat gingivitis. If not, your dentist will administer periodontal therapy. A deep clean of your teeth and gums will also be performed to eliminate harmful oral bacteria.
Symptoms of Periodontitis
Though gingivitis is easy to treat, it can progress into a more serious infection called periodontitis if you wait too long to visit your dentist. During this stage of gum disease, bacteria will begin to attack your jawbone. This will result in permanent damage and can cause symptoms like:
- Soreness, swelling, and discharge from the gums
- Gums pulling away from the teeth
- Loose teeth
- Tooth loss
Treatments for Periodontitis
Unfortunately, periodontitis can’t be reversed. Scaling and root planning may be used to thoroughly clean out the bacteria beneath your gums to eliminate the infection. The tooth roots will then be smoothed out to prevent future infections and encourage the gum tissue to reattach. Your dentist may also refer you to a specialist so they can administer more in-depth treatment.
Tips for Preventing Gum Disease
Though your dentist can administer treatments to reverse or do their best to correct the damage that gum disease has done to your mouth, it’s better to prevent it from developing in the first place. The best ways to do this include:
- Eat well – Cut back on sweet and acidic foods and drinks and eat a nutritious diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat or fat-free dairy, and lean meat.
- Avoid bad habits – Don’t smoke or use tobacco products and only drink alcohol in moderation.
- Rinse – Use an antiseptic mouthwash daily to get rid of bacteria.
- Visit the dentist – Get dental checkups every six months.
- Brush – Do this for two minutes twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Floss – At least once per day, floss your teeth to get rid of plaque and food particles stuck between them.
If you notice any of the aforementioned signs of gum disease, make an appointment to see your dentist right away. Early detection will allow them to administer prompt treatment so your gums and smile remain happy and healthy!
About the Practice
Stansbury Dental administers effective, efficient care to the residents of Tyler and surrounding communities. Their compassionate team offers services like dental checkups and cleanings to prevent oral health issues like gum disease and keep your mouth healthy. Interested in making an appointment with Stansbury Dental or want more information on gum disease treatment? Call their office at (903) 561-1122 or visit their website to get started on your journey towards a healthier and happier smile.