What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a harmful oral infection that develops in your gum tissue. It’s caused by a buildup of bacteria in your mouth that leaves sticky deposits on your teeth called plaque.
Without prompt treatment, gum disease will grow more severe and eventually result in serious consequences for your health. Unfortunately, this infection is so common that nearly half of American adults have it. That’s why it’s essential to be aware of the symptoms so you can seek treatment right away.
The Stages of Gum Disease
- Gingivitis — This is the early stage of periodontal disease, when your gums start to look red and inflamed from plaque buildup around your gumline. Most patients don’t feel any pain during this stage, so you may not even realize that you have an infection.
- Periodontitis — Without treatment, gingivitis will advance to the more harmful stage of periodontitis, when bacteria begins to destroy the underlying bones and tissues in your mouth, resulting in severe pain and eventual tooth loss.
Risk Factors for Gum Disease
There are several factors that can increase your risk for gum disease, some of which include:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Certain health conditions, such as cancer or AIDS
- Medications that reduce saliva flow
If you notice that your gums appear red and swollen, or if they bleed easily, contact our office right away.
Treatments for Gum Disease
If you seek treatment for gum disease while it’s still in the gingivitis stage, your symptoms are relatively easy to reverse. You may even be able to eliminate the infection yourself with improved oral care at home.
If this isn’t effective, Dr. Crupi can restore your oral health with a scaling and root planing procedure. Sometimes referred to as a deep cleaning, this treatment involves using specialized dental tools to remove plaque from above and below your gumline.
Once your infection progresses to periodontitis, treating it becomes more difficult. If decay has spread into the pulp of your teeth, we can perform root canal therapy to save them.
As a last resort, Dr. Crupi can extract any teeth that are beyond saving and restore them with natural-looking dental implants. The best way to avoid losing any teeth from gum disease is to stay aware of your oral health and seek treatment at the earliest sign of infection.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gum Disease
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by an accumulation of excess bacteria in your mouth that leaves sticky deposits on your teeth called plaque. Without treatment, this will eventually wear down your enamel and result in tooth loss.
To prevent plaque from building up in your mouth, brush your teeth and floss every day in addition to visiting our practice for check-ups twice a year.
What’s the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis?
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease, when there’s little to no pain and your symptoms can be reversed with scaling and root planing. Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gum disease, when bone and tissue degeneration begins to threaten your overall health.
What if I leave my gum disease untreated?
If you notice any possible indication of gum disease, it’s crucial to seek treatment right away. If you allow your infection to advance, it can lead to serious consequences including tooth loss, heart disease, and severe pain in your gums on a daily basis.
What’s the best mouthwash to prevent gum disease?
There are many brands of antibacterial mouthwash available that will help to protect you from gum disease. Two excellent choices that we recommend are Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash and Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield.
Visit Dr. Crupi for Gum Disease Treatment
Don’t let gum disease ruin your smile. Call one of our two locations, in Englewood and Venice, to schedule a consultation with Dr. Crupi. Rest assured, he can help you maintain a healthy smile for many years to come.