Though you may not realize it, periodontal (gum) disease probably affects most of the people you know. In fact, nearly 80% of adults in the United States are afflicted with the chronic condition, and it’s the number one cause of adult tooth loss. However, as a progressive illness, periodontal disease goes through several stages before it can claim one or more of your teeth. Therefore, treating it depends on the stage at which you detect it. Today, we explore the process by which gum disease becomes a problem, and how you can increase your chances of successfully treating it early.
Starting with Dental Plaque
At any given moment, there are over 600 different kinds of bacteria inside of your mouth. When they gather together, they form the sticky, uncomfortable substance known as dental plaque, which coats your teeth and gums. As plaque accumulates along your gum line, some of its bacteria irritate your gum tissue and cause it to recede from your teeth. The pockets that form provide spaces for more bacteria to gather. Other bacteria can manipulate your immune system, causing excessive inflammation and exacerbating the damage to your gum tissue.
Early Signs of the Problem
Brushing and flossing are your most important daily rituals because they help control the accumulation of dental plaque. Unfortunately, your hygiene routine is not an absolute guarantee against dental issues like gum disease. If you notice that your gums appear red and swollen, or they bleed on occasion like when you brush your teeth, then you may have gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. If these signs go unheeded and gingivitis is allowed to progress to periodontitis (severe gum disease), then you may need to maintain a schedule of periodontal maintenance to prevent it from costing you one or more teeth.
Learn More About Avoiding the Problem of Gum Disease
If you exhibit signs of gingivitis or advanced gum disease, then visit your dentist as soon as possible for appropriate treatment to preserve your smile. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling the Sunny Smiles dental office nearest you in El Paso, TX, today! We have offices in the East, Northeast, and Westside of El Paso, and happily welcome patients from all nearby communities, including Chaparral, Canutillo, Vinton, and Sunland Park, New Mexico.