Did you know that advanced gum disease affects 4% to 12% American adults? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of the reported cases of severe gum disease are caused by cigarette smoking. This condition should be prevented before it gets worse, since if it’s left untreated, it may lead to tooth loss.
Gingivitis and Periodontitis
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an inflammation of the gums and tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is divided into two types: Gingivitis and Periodontitis.
Gingivitis is a mild form of periodontal disease affecting the gums. Symptoms include tender, red and swollen gums that bleed easily and may also cause bad breath. Be sure to inform your dentist once you notice any bleeding while brushing.
Periodontitis is a more serious type of periodontal disease that damages the bone and connective tissue that supports the teeth. Common signs of Periodontitis include gum inflammation, deep pockets below the gum line and loose teeth.
The major cause of gum problems is the build up of plaque. Aside from smoking, other causes include poor oral hygiene, certain diseases, medications, hormonal changes and genetics.
Periodontal disease can be treated by means of non-surgical treatment. Non-surgical treatment like prophylaxis (professional cleaning), scaling and planing are effective in preventing further damage to your teeth and gums. They are even more effective when done as a preventive measure in counteracting gum disease. Severe gum disease may necessitate the use of surgical procedures, as advised by your dentist.
It’s best to visit your Kennewick dentist once you observe any changes in your gums so you can have them treated as soon as possible.
Dr. Walter Hadley of Marineland Dental Care provides in-office and at-home treatments for preventing gum disease. Learn more from your Kennewick dentist by calling 509-591-0515.