Gum Disease Explained by Your Louisville Dentist
Half of Americans over the age of thirty will develop some periodontal disease. Sadly, many of those affected by first-stage gum disease do not even know it. By learning in-depth from your dentist in Louisville, Kentucky, you can keep your gums healthy and avoid the devastating pitfalls of periodontal disease.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, aka gum disease, is an infection caused by harmful bacteria in the mouth. The human mouth has an ecosystem with both good and bad bacteria. When harmful bacteria combine with sugars left in the mouth, it forms a plaque on the teeth and gums. If this plaque is not brushed away, it releases inflammatory enzymes that break down your gum tissues.
Catching gum disease early on prevents other complications such as bone loss or cardiovascular disease.
What are the Causes of Periodontal Disease?
All periodontal diseases come down to one major issue – bacteria. Periodontal disease occurs if plaque and tartar aren’t removed with daily flossing, brushing, and regular professional teeth cleanings.
Other risk factors include:
- – Dry mouth
- – Crowded or crooked teeth
- – Hormonal Imbalance
- – High carbohydrate diet
- – Smoking
What are the 4 Stages of Gum Disease?
Gum disease starts as a mild infection that is relatively undetectable. With time, it advances and becomes apparent and harmful. Keep reading to learn the four stages of gum disease:
Stage #1: Gingivitis
If plaque accumulates at the base of the teeth, it makes its way into the gum pockets (gingival sulcus). The plaque bacteria starts to infect the gum. Only mild symptoms are present during stage #1:
- – Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- – Occasional bad breath
- – Inflamed gums
Your dentist in Louisville will significantly help when trying to catch gum disease at this early stage,. You can reverse the first stage with guidance through a healthy diet and good oral hygiene.
Stage #2: Slight Periodontal Disease
The disease becomes more noticeable and, unfortunately, non-reversible. The infection goes deeper into the gums and begins its bone-destroying process. Bacteria enter the bloodstream, damaging a patient’s immune system. Warning signs at this stage are:
- – Bleeding gums during brushing and flossing
- – Bad breath that surprisingly worsens
- – Gum pockets as deep as 4-5 mm
- – Red, swollen, and squishy gums
Stage 3: Moderate Periodontal Disease
Stage 3 symptoms are the same as stage two, but the gaps between gums and teeth are more significant at six to seven millimeters. Teeth cleaning becomes extremely difficult and allows for even more bacteria to attack your tissue, bones, and immune system.
Your Louisville dentist or dental hygienist will intervene by removing plaque, bacteria, and infected tissue in a procedure known as scaling and root planing to prevent further damage.
Stage 4: Advanced Periodontal disease
The final stage holds significant damage, such as bone and tooth loss. The damaged teeth might require removal. Stage 4 signs and symptoms are:
- – Wobbly, gapped teeth
- – Severe halitosis
- – Damaged gums that ooze pus
- – Cold sensitivity
- – Further loosening of teeth
- – Painful chewing
A periodontist will treat the patient by removing the infection with laser therapy to clean the deep bacteria-filled pockets. Antibiotics are prescribed to fight systemic disease.
Gum disease only starts to cause discomfort when it becomes severe. Scheduling regular dental care checkups, professional cleanings with your dentist in Louisville, KY, and practicing good oral hygiene habits can halt periodontal disease progression.
Please visit the Magnolia Dental office for the best dental experience around. We care about your oral health and offer a wide range of dental services, including cosmetic dentistry and dental implants.