Early stages of gum disease can be reversed.
Get screened for it promptly and get treated for it aggressively.
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of periodontal disease and can be reversed with gum therapy appointments and good oral home care. Advanced stages of periodontal disease cannot be completely cured, but can be controlled and managed with maintenance. Once bone loss occurs, it cannot be reversed, only maintained. Treating periodontal disease is very important to prevent further bone loss that can lead to tooth loss.
To find out if you have gum disease, your dentist or hygienist needs to check your teeth and gums. Since early gum disease can be reversed, it’s important to see your dentist or hygienist if you see any of the following:
- Gums that bleed or are red, puffy or swollen, or sore.
- Gums that have pulled away from your teeth.
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
- Pus that appears between your teeth and gums.
- Constant bad breath or bad taste in your mouth.
Solution: Patients with periodontal disease require more than just regular cleanings every six months. Periodontal therapy is the treatment of choice for gum disease, since routine hygiene visits are only meant to prevent gum disease
Bad breath, or halitosis, typically originates in the mouth. It is usually caused by oral bacteria breaking down food debris and the resultant decay. This process creates byproducts called volatile sulfur compounds, which emit a smell similar to rotten eggs. The type of bacteria that initiates this process needs an environment that is low in oxygen, so they usually inhabit areas that are difficult to reach, such as the pockets around teeth and the fissures of the tongue.
What the Experts Say
Current research shows some alarming new information about the effects of periodontal disease. Many studies, including several published in the Journal of Periodontology and The Surgeon General, confirm that people with periodontal disease are at a greater risk for other serious illnesses. That’s because infected gums release significantly higher levels of bacteria into the bloodstream that then spread to other organs in the body.
Periodontal bacteria may contribute to:
- Cardiovascular (heart disease)
- Lung infections
- Pre-term and low-birth-weight babies
- Respiratory diseases
Factors that may put you at an increased rate:
- Family history
- Poor dental care
- Family transmission
- Prior gum disease
- Clenching or grinding
- Poor nutrition
- Other systemic diseases
This disease can affect your overall health in more ways than you probably though possible. That’s why it’s so important to diagnose and treat this disease aggressively.