Gum disease, also referred to as periodontitis or periodontal disease, best describes an infection, swelling, or soreness of the oral tissues supporting your teeth. This disease starts with bacterial overgrowth in the oral cavity, and if not treated, it progresses to stages that can cause teeth loss due to the destruction of gum tissue.
Gum disease can be classified into six types, but the main types are three. They are gingivitis, periodontitis, and acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis:
When you frequently skip dental hygiene practices such as brushing and flossing, plaque which is a sticky film of harmful oral bacteria, builds up on your teeth. The bacteria release corrosive acids that start eroding the teeth’s outer protective shell, referred to as the enamel. This results in dental decay, and as more plaque accumulates on your teeth’ surface, they harden to form tartar along your gum line, making it difficult to clean your gums and teeth completely.
As time goes by, tartar buildup leads to gum irritation and inflammation, causing gingivitis. Fortunately, gingivitis can be resolved at home with regular teeth brushing and appropriate flossing techniques. You can also visit our periodontist in Plano, TX for professional teeth cleaning to remove all traces of plaque, tartar, and bacterial products.
When gingivitis goes untreated, the inflammation spreads beneath the gums to the ligaments and bones holding teeth in position. This is a more advanced stage called periodontitis and is characterized by gums pulling away from teeth forming pockets. The newly formed gum pockets trap plaque which can be impossible to reach with your toothbrush.
Over time, more plaque accumulates in the pockets and eventually hardens to tartar. This irritates the gum tissues even more and causes the pockets to become deeper. Sometimes one may develop a gum infection, and pus may collect beneath the gum tissue to form an abscess.
Untreated periodontitis may cause gum recession, where the gum tissue shrinks back, pulling away from teeth. This can leave the roots of some teeth exposed, leading to sensitivity, or in a worst-case scenario, you get loose teeth because of bone loss.
This is a severe form of gum disease with a sudden onset. It results from a bacterial infection and may present with painful ulcers that easily bleed, difficulty talking or swallowing, bad breath, a metallic taste in the mouth, and may be accompanied by fever.
Any person presenting with symptoms of acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis needs to get medical attention from our Plano dentist as soon as possible.
Gum disease is mainly caused by the following:
Below are the signs & symptoms of periodontal (gum) diseases:
In less advanced stages, gum diseases treatment will consist of non-surgically procedures and medications such as:
Surgical interventions are necessary when the patient has advanced periodontitis and may include:
Gum disease is the biggest cause of tooth loss in American adults; therefore, you should immediately visit a dental office should you notice the signs. Contact SS Dental now for gum disease treatment in Plano, TX!