Periodontal disease, while common, can be easily prevented by sticking to brushing and flossing your teeth daily and by visiting your Kennewick dentist regularly. To have a better idea about gum disease, and how you could prevent it from happening to you, we’ve prepared a short primer on how it develops. A thorough understanding of gum disease will allow you to better understand the importance of proper oral hygiene and preventive dental care to help combat this problem.

Periodontal disease develops in three stages starting with the earliest stage called gingivitis before progressing to periodontitis and then ending in advanced periodontitis.

When someone has poor oral habits such as not brushing or flossing after eating, their teeth and gums begin to form plaque. This is a yellowish film that’s filled with bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Once the bacteria begin to multiply, they begin to release toxins into the mouth, which causes the gums to swell and bleed easily. This is the first stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, and it can usually be reversed by brushing and flossing or with professional cleaning at your dentist’s clinic.

Gingivitis is easily reversible, but when left untreated, it could progress into periodontitis. Once at this stage, the gums start to recede and begin to form infected spaces or pockets. If not treated immediately, the disease would start to break down bone and connective tissue, which could lead to loose teeth. Your Kennewick dentist can treat periodontitis by performing deep cleaning that will remove bacteria from the pockets. You may also be prescribed some antibiotics in order to combat the disease.

The last stage of gum disease, called advanced periodontitis, would lead to tooth loss as the bones and supporting tissues are already too weak from the infection. You’ll need more aggressive and expensive treatments, which may include surgery and more powerful medication, in order to combat the disease at this later stage.

Gum disease is easily treatable when detected at an earlier stage, so it’s best to stick to regular dental appointments with your Kennewick dentist to keep this problem at bay. To learn more about periodontal disease prevention, get in touch with Dr. Walter Hadley by calling Marineland Dental Care at 509-591-0515 today.

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