Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is inflammation in the gums due to oral bacteria and plaque that damages the soft tissue around the teeth. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to gum recession, tooth loss, and deterioration of the jaw. This condition is most often the result of inadequate oral hygiene that allows bacteria to grow unchecked.
There are four stages of gum disease:
- Gingivitis: Oral bacteria form plaque that irritates the gums and leads to inflammation. The gums may appear red, inflamed and swollen. They also may bleed, especially during brushing and flossing.
- Early Periodontitis: Inflammation causes the gums to begin to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets. Gums are generally sensitive and likely to bleed. Bone loss begins.
- Moderate Periodontitis: Inflammation progresses and affects the supporting structures of the teeth, including the roots. At this stage, periodontitis is noticeable and teeth may begin to shift.
- Advanced Periodontitis: Bone loss causes the teeth to become unstable, leading to the loss of one or more teeth. If treatment is not undertaken, other teeth will be lost and damage to the jaw is common. In the advanced stage, gum disease poses a threat to health, contributing to heart disease, diabetes, and serious infection.
If you have noticed any of the symptoms of gum disease, don’t wait to seek treatment. The condition is much easier to control when caught in its early stages. During your regularly scheduled dental checkups and teeth cleanings, Dr. Adler will examine the health of your gums to identify any signs of periodontal disease. If you are exhibiting symptoms of gingivitis, he will recommend a treatment plan to help improve the condition.
Please contact Adler Advanced Dentistry using the form on this page or call today to schedule dental checkup and teeth cleaning at our Boulder, Colorado office.