Types of Gum Disease Include:
Gingivitis - The beginning stage of gum disease and is often undetected. This stage of the disease is reversible.
Periodontitis - Untreated gingivitis may lead to this next stage of gum disease. With many levels of periodontitis, the common outcome is chronic inflammatory response, a condition when the body breaks down the bone and tissue in the infected area of the mouth, ultimately resulting in tooth and bone loss.
Signs of Gum Disease Include:
• Red, bleeding, and/or swollen gums
• Bad breath
• Mobility of the teeth
• Tooth sensitivity caused by receding gums
• Abscessed teeth
• Tooth loss
Recent studies suggest gum disease may contribute to or be warning signs of potentially life threatening conditions such as heart disease and stroke. Studies suggest gingivitis may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke because of the high levels of bacteria found in infected areas of the mouth. As the level of periodontal disease increases, the risk of cardiovascular disease may increase with it.
Treatments for Gum Disease
Depending on the type of gum disease, some of the available treatment options are:
- Removal of plaque and calculus by way of scaling done by your dental hygienist or dentist.
- Medications such as chlorhexidine gluconate, a mouth rinse prescribed by your dentist or hygienist to help kill the bacteria in your mouth, along with frequent cleanings.
- Surgery may be necessary in certain cases to stop, halt, or minimize the progression of periodontal disease. Surgery is also used to replace bone that was lost in advanced stages of the disease.
Proper brushing and flossing is the easiest way to reduce and prevent gum disease, but regular cleanings with your dental hygienist or dentist are necessary to remove calculus and treat advanced gum disease. If you are concerned that you may have gum disease, contact your dentist.