You’ve probably heard of gum disease before, but how much do you really know about it? It’s an important issue to be aware of: according to the American Academy of Periodontology, half of all Americans over 30 will be affected by gum disease. For those who get gum disease, its consequences can be severe. In addition to tooth loss, gum disease can negatively impact your overall health in a variety of ways.
Southern Dental Care offers New Orleans gum disease information, diagnoses, and treatment for those who need it, so contact us today to receive our professional support.
Causes of Gum Disease
Gum disease occurs when your gum line becomes inflamed or infected. It starts with plaque, a sticky substance that coats your teeth. Plaque forms when bacteria, mucus, or other particles are not removed from brushing or flossing your teeth.
When plaque remains on your teeth, it can harden and become tartar, also known as calculus. Unfortunately, tartar cannot be removed by brushing or flossing; you will need a thorough cleaning by one of our dentists or dental assistants. Even worse, plaque accumulates more easily on tartar due to its rough texture, which creates a vicious cycle.
If this plaque bacteria infects your gums or teeth, you will have a case of gum disease on your hands.
Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease progresses in three stages:
- Gingivitis — This is the first stage of gum disease, when plaque forms on your gum line and causes inflammation in your gums. Gingivitis is the only stage at which gum disease can still be reversed.
- Periodontitis — Once the connective tissue and bone that secure your teeth in place become damaged by the disease, you can no longer reverse it. A pocket will develop underneath your gum line, and it will become easier for plaque to form below the gum line. With professional help, however, you can limit the effects gum disease will have on your gum tissue, connective tissue, and bone.
- Advanced Periodontitis — No longer are the connective tissue and bone simply taking damage at this stage. By now, the tissues and bones of your teeth are actively being destroyed. Your teeth may shift, become loose, or even fall out.
One of the most alarming aspects of gum disease is that it can be painless, which means you might not even be aware of the problem. Whether you are worried you might have gum disease or you have resolved to keep up with your regular dental visits, contact Southern Dental Care now to set up an appointment.