If you’ve recently been told that you’re suffering from periodontal disease, you are not alone. Nearly 75% of Americans suffer from some form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums which can progress to affect the bone and tissues that surround and support your teeth.
Periodontal disease is typically caused due to improper oral hygiene, however in some cases it can be caused by certain medications, hormonal changes, among other certain factors. When you aren’t practicing proper oral hygiene, you’re allowing the bacteria in plaque to remain on your teeth, which will eventually infect your gums. Not only will periodontal disease affect your gums and teeth, but it can potentially affect your connective tissue and bone that supports your teeth as well. There are three stages of gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. Gum disease often exhibits worsening symptom as time goes on.
- Gingivitis- Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease, and can be noticed by inflamed gums, red or swollen gums, which is mainly caused by the plaque buildup. This stage of the disease can also cause your gums to bleed, which you may notice when brushing or flossing your teeth. This is the only stage of periodontal that is reversible with periodontal treatment.
- Periodontitis- When gingivitis is left untreated it progresses to a more advanced stage, known as periodontitis. At this particular stage the supporting bone and tissues will be irreversibly damaged. Your gums will also start to separate from your teeth, then form pockets below the gum line that become infected. . With periodontal treatment and improved oral hygiene you and your dentist can usually prevent any further damage.
- Advanced Periodontitis- This is the final stage of periodontal disease, not only has the infection affected your teeth, but it has also destroyed the fibers and bones that support your teeth. This can affect your bite and cause your teeth to shift, loosen and/or even fall out. If periodontal treatment can’t save your teeth, your dentist may have to remove them.
Periodontal disease does not discriminate and can occur to anyone at any age, however it is more common in adults. As mentioned earlier, if periodontal disease is detected in its early stages, it can be reversed.
If you suspect that you may be suffering from periodontal disease, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to see which periodontal treatment best suits your needs. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information regarding periodontal treatment.