We at the office of Dr. Max Lingo know that gum disease on all levels is a serious problem. It is one of the most common things that our office treats. We would like to explain what it is and its various stages.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that can progress and affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. It is caused by bacteria in plaque.
Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that is constantly forming on your teeth. If it is not removed through daily brushing and flossing, plaque can build up. That bacteria will infect not only your gums and teeth but eventually the gum tissue and bone that supports the teeth. This can cause your teeth to become loose, fall out or worse, have to be removed by a dentist.
The Three Stages of Gum Disease
- Gingivitis: The earliest stage of gum disease. An inflammation of the gums caused by plaque buildup at the gumline. If daily brushing and flossing do not remove the plaque, it produces toxins that can irritate the gum tissue, causing gingivitis. You may notice bleeding during brushing and flossing. At this early stage in gum disease, damage can be improved, since the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place are not yet affected.
- Periodontitis: The supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place are irreversibly damaged. Your gums may begin to form a pocket below the gum line, which in turn traps food and plaque. Proper dental treatment and improved home care can usually help prevent further damage.
- Advanced Periodontitis: The fibers and bone supporting your teeth are destroyed, which can cause your teeth to shift or loosen. This can affect your bite and, if aggressive treatment can’t save them, teeth may need to be removed.
How Do You Know if You Have Gum Disease
If gum disease is detected in its early stages, it can be improved, so see Dr. Max Lingo if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Gums that are red, puffy or swollen, or tender
- Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
- Teeth that look longer because your gums have receded
- Gums that have separated, or pulled away, from your teeth, creating a pocket
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Pus coming from between your teeth and gums
- Constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
How is Gum Disease Treated
- Early stages of gum disease can often improve with proper brushing and flossing. Good oral health keeps plaque from building up.
- A professional cleaning by Dr. Max Lingo is the only way to remove plaque that has built up and hardened into tartar. Your dentist or hygienist will clean or “scale” your teeth to remove the tartar above and below the gumline. If your condition is more severe, a root planing procedure may be performed. Root planing helps to smooth irregularities on the roots of the teeth making it more difficult for plaque to deposit there.
By scheduling regular checkups, early-stage gum disease can be treated before it leads to a much more serious condition. If your condition is more advanced, treatment in the dental office will be required. That being said, if you feel that you need your oral health looked at or worked on please contact Dr. Max L Lingo, Evansville, Indiana dentist. Let them explain your options. Or if you need any other service, contact our office now if you need bonding & filling, cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, dentures & partials, extractions, sedation dentistry, teeth whitening, teeth cleaning, plaque removal and more.