People do not recognize that they have periodontal disease until it is too late. There are many signs that you need to know to start treatment early. Periodontal disease is among the biggest threats to your oral and dental health.
Periodontal disease is an advancement of gum infection. Poor oral hygiene leads to the development of this disease. The disease pulls the gums away from the teeth. As a result, the pulling away forms deep pockets that become filled with harmful bacteria.
Periodontal disease has four stages, as follows:
Gingivitis – The only stage where the disease can be reversed. Reversal is possible because the disease has not begun attacking the bone yet. Bleeding gums is an early sign of this first stage
Slight periodontal disease – The second stage is irreversible, but your dentist can help you manage it. During this stage, the infection has already advanced to your bone. Your dentist can remove bacteria deposits through root planing and scaling
Moderate periodontal disease – The third stage is where the infection has spread deep into your gums. Your dentist can use various treatments to do a thorough cleaning of your gums
Advanced periodontal disease – This final stage may require you to get surgery. If you leave it untreated, it can result in gum recession. You can also get gaps in your teeth, and you can experience severe tooth loss
Early warning signs of periodontal disease appear before the advancement of the disease. Gingivitis presents one of the early warning signs. If your dentist diagnoses gingivitis, it is ideal to start a thorough oral care routine. Doing so will prevent the advancement of gum disease.
Some of the common early warning signs include:
Gum pain and irritation
Foul breath despite keeping up with your brushing
Visit your dentist for regular checkups to curb these early signs. Preventative care is ideal to stop the development of periodontal disease. Your gum health equates to your oral and dental health.
Your dentist will review your medical history. Doing so will help identify the reasons that contribute to your symptoms. Taking some medication or smoking can be a risk factor. A mouth examination also helps check for bleeding. Your dentist will also check for signs of plaque or tartar buildup.
Next, your dentist will measure the pocket depth found between your teeth and gums. Pockets that are beyond four millimeters mean you have periodontal disease. Healthy mouths have grooves that have a depth of one to three millimeters. Dentists cannot clean pockets deeper than five millimeters very well.
A dental X-ray can be necessary to check for bone loss. Damage to your bone happens in spots where your dentist finds deeper pockets.
Your dentist can detect early signs of periodontal disease during regular dental checkups. But if you develop any symptoms as listed above, see your doctor as soon as possible. Failure to do so can cause periodontitis to advance, and you can lose your teeth, bone, or gum tissue.
For more about periodontal disease, contact MAC Family Dentistry at our office in Mandeville, Louisiana. You can call (985) 238-3797 today to schedule an appointment.