Periodontal Q & A
It has been estimated that 75% of Americans have some form of gum disease which can be linked to serious health complications and causes dental problems that are avoidable.
The Dangers Of Gum Disease
- Gum disease has been linked to an increased risk for many serious health complications, including:
- Heart Disease
- Premature Birth or Low Birth-Weight Babies
- Pancreatic Cancer
- Memory Loss or Dementia
- Head and Neck Cancer
The Three Stages of Gum Disease
The three stages of gum disease are:
- Advanced Periodontitis
Stage 1 : Gingivitis
The longer tartar and plaque remain on teeth, the more dangerous they become. The bacteria causes swelling of the gums. This is referred to as Gingivitis. The gums become red, swollen, and bleed easily. Gingivitis is the lesser form of gum disease and can easily be reversed with daily brushing, flossing and regular teeth cleaning by a dentist. This form of gum disease is not accompanied by any loss of bone and tissue needed to hold teeth in place.
Stage 2: Periodontitis
If Gingivitis is left untreated it will advance to Periodontitis. The gums will begin pulling away from the teeth and form pockets that become infected. The body’s natural immune system works hard to fight the bacteria as plaque begins to spread below gum line. Toxins and the body’s response to the infection starts to break down the bone and tissue that holds teeth in place. If Periodontitis goes untreated, the bones, gums, and tissue are destroyed causing loose teeth that may need to be removed.
Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis
This is the final stage of gum disease, it has progressed and become severe. The bacteria that was allowed to grow and spread, has not destroyed the tissues and bone that are necessary to support teeth. The pockets have progressed and become deeper causing teeth to shift affecting your bite among other things. During this stage, the only course of action to save the teeth is to see a doctor immediately and undergo gum disease treatment.
All stages of gum disease are progressive and can result in tooth loss if ignored. As in most diseases, early detection is key to ensure you keep your teeth for the rest of your life.