Did you know that the leading cause of tooth loss in adults is gum disease? And did you know that over 75% of adults are affected by gum disease in some way? It’s true and if you don’t get routine checkups you could be affected. However, the most serious complications of gum disease occur in the later and advanced stages of the condition, and if caught early enough by a periodontist or other dental professional, gum disease can be maintained to a level that keeps you healthy. There are multiple stages of gum disease, and our team wants to help you understand them so you don’t become susceptible to advanced disease and future tooth loss.
The Stages of Gum Disease
- Healthy Gums and Teeth – This is the stage everyone should strive to stay in. Your gums sit flush against the teeth, there is no excessive plaque, decay or buildup around the teeth, and there is no inflammation present. While in this stage, your smile is in its best condition!
- Gingivitis – The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis is characterized by inflammation around the gums and an excessive buildup of plaque around the teeth. The gums will begin to pull away from the teeth expose more of the sensitive tooth root to damage and decay. However, this stage of gum disease is reversible if caught early! When treated by your periodontist, like Dr. Jean-Claude Kharmouche, we are able to eradicate the disease and put you back in the healthy state!
- Periodontitis – This stage of gum disease is irreversible, but can be maintained with proper care from a periodontist. Similar to the gingivitis stage, but more advanced, gums begin to pull away from the teeth, bleeding easily occurs when brushing or eating and teeth feel sensitive to hot or cold beverages. Minor jaw bone deterioration may begin and make affected teeth feel loose.
- Advanced Periodontitis – The most severe stage of gum disease, advanced periodontitis is characterized by excessive jaw bone deterioration, gums that pull far away from the teeth, loose teeth and even full tooth loss. Advanced treatments will need to be performed to save your smile and you will need to receive routine periodontal maintenance to ensure the gum disease does not reinfect the gums and teeth.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
As dangerous as gum disease is, there are ways to prevent it from occurring altogether. The best defense against gum disease starts at home. Simply brushing and flossing your teeth every day will be the best defense, along with avoiding sugary and sweet foods and drinks. Routine dental visits also allow for early diagnosis and treatment before the disease gets too severe.
Ready to Get Checked? Don’t wait any longer, get checked for gum disease by calling Dr. Kharmouche and scheduling a consultation at 571-291-2596.