Periodontal disease, more commonly referred to as gum disease, is a term that includes a range of dental problems related to the inflammation of tissues that are surrounding your teeth. Millions of people around the world suffer from periodontal disease at one stage in their lives. This dental health problem can result in severe issues such as the loss of teeth and infections that may potentially spread to other body parts. However, this is not an issue that develops overnight. Understanding the early signs of periodontal disease is one of the most effective ways to prevent it from developing into a serious issue.
Gingivitis: The Earliest Stage
The mildest stage of gum disease or periodontal disease is known as gingivitis. This is a condition that is found to have affected about one in two people at some point in their lives. The negative implications are mainly related to the physical appearance instead of pain, which is why it is very common for early cases to go unnoticed. However, leaving the problem untreated will result in serious cases of periodontal disease. This is the stage where loss of teeth and other severe issues can grow and develop.
Gingivitis can affect people at any point in their life, but the chances are higher due to a number of issues, such as:
- Misaligned teeth
- Reduced immunity
- Certain medication
- Problematic mouth appliances
- Poor nutrition
While the abovementioned issues, as well as changes in the hormones, can play a part in affecting gingivitis, the biggest cause is due to poor oral hygiene. When plaque is not removed effectively from the surface of the tooth, it will harden and become tartar. Due to the presence of toxins and harmful bacteria, the gums will get inflamed and an infection will follow soon after.
Symptoms and Prevention
Periodontal disease is known to create some discomfort and pain, but it often goes unnoticed due to a lack of those symptoms. Nonetheless, there are some key symptoms that suggest that an individual may have gingivitis, including:
- Swollen gums
- Mouth sores
- Bleeding gums when brushing
- Redness of gums
- Gums tenderness
- Bad breath
Although most of the above issues can be linked to other problems too, gingivitis is usually one of the more common reasons, which is why if you experience any of those symptoms, you should begin to seek treatment.
While good oral hygiene routines will get rid of naturally developing plaque, tartar can only be removed by a professional dentist who will remove it through scaling. The deep clean scaling process has proven to be able to reverse the harmful effects of gingivitis. However, this needs to be continued with better oral care and dental hygiene, as well as regular dental cleaning. It is possible for gingivitis to return, which is why regular oral care is essential in defeating the early stages of periodontal disease.
Dr. Alex Rubinov is an experienced dental practitioner in New York who can offer a range of dental services. Call us at (718) 253-0800 to book an appointment.