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Curing Gum Disease
Periodontal disease can be anywhere from a mild annoyance to a serious health condition. If it is caught early on, though, it can be easily treated. If it is allowed to advance, it can lead to a variety of oral health issues. It’s very important to treat periodontal disease as early as possible.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is when plaque and tartar build up at and below the gum line—which causes disease and inflammation.
What to Look For
Periodontal disease can be pretty easy to spot, if you know what to look for. Some of the symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Swollen Gums
- Bleeding of the Gums (Including During Brushing)
- Discoloration of the Gums
- Bad Breath
- Loose Teeth
- Receding Gum Lines
If you notice these signs, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. While gingivitis may take a while to advance, it is extremely dangerous for your oral health if it continues to move on to the next stages of periodontal disease.
What Are the Stages of Gum Disease?
There are different stages that gum disease goes through—each worse than the next. Below are the different stages of gum disease:
Gingivitis is the beginning stage of periodontal disease. While it can look unpleasant and even cause your gums to bleed, gingivitis is generally easily treated and can be reversed.
Periodontitis occurs when gum disease is allowed to continue to worsen. At this stage, significant damage starts to occur to the gums and bone. Pockets may form below the gum line. The damage at this stage may be difficult—if impossible—to repair.
The final stage of periodontal disease is a point of irreparable damage. At this point, the dentist will simply try to eliminate the disease, and do their best to save whatever teeth and bone that can be saved. Still, a patient may lose their teeth, and bone tissue.
Gingivitis is easy to treat, and can often only require proper cleaning and a professional dental cleaning from a general dentist. As the issue becomes worse, though, more advanced treatments are required. One treatment option that dentists will use for gingivitis and even early periodontitis is a deep cleaning (also known as a scaling and root planing). This allows the dentist to clean below the gum line, and ensure that your gums are able to properly heal.
If the issue is allowed to persist even longer, a special laser may need to be used to clear away the disease. At a certain point, the dentist will be in a situation in which they are trying to save the teeth and bone tissue. Don’t let it get to this point!
With proper brushing, flossing and rinsing—and by visiting the dentist every six months—you can significantly reduce your chances of developing gum disease. If periodontal disease does develop, schedule a visit with your dentist as soon as you can.
Iowa Dental Groups offers periodontal therapy and treatments. Contact us today to find out more.
Interested in learning more about Gum Disease? Here's some information on symptoms and what to look for.
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Our Des Moines' Dentists Bob Margeas DDS & Brett Barber DDS are eager to help provide any answers you may have. Contact us today regarding optimal oral health.
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