Your Guide to Gum Disease
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an oral infection that spreads through your gum tissue. It originates from excessive bacteria in your mouth, which leaves sticky deposits on your teeth called plaque.
Without treatment, gum disease can lead to serious consequences for your overall health. That’s why it’s essential to be aware of the symptoms so you can seek treatment right away.
Stages of Gum Disease
- Gingivitis — In this early stage of periodontal disease, your gums will start to appear red and swollen. There’s typically no pain or other symptoms at this point, causing many patients not to realize they have an infection.
- Periodontitis — If you don’t get treatment soon enough, gingivitis will progress into periodontitis. This is when bacteria starts to destroy the underlying bones and tissues in your mouth, eventually leading to tooth loss and severe pain.
Risk Factors of Gum Disease
There are many factors that can increase your risk of gum disease, including:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Medications that reduce saliva flow
- Certain health conditions, such as cancer or AIDS
If your gums look red or swollen, or if they start to bleed when you brush your teeth, contact our office immediately.
If you seek treatment before your infection passes the gingivitis stage, it’s relatively easy to reverse. You may even be able to eliminate the condition yourself with improved oral care at home.
If not, Dr. Kovacevic will rid your mouth of bacteria with scaling and root planing. Also known as deep cleaning, this procedure involves removing plaque from above and below your gumline.
Once your infection reaches the periodontitis stage, it becomes far more difficult to treat. That’s why it’s crucial for you to get treatment at the first sign of an infection.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by excessive plaque in your mouth. To prevent plaque from building up in your gums, brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. Also, remember to visit Dr. Kovacevic at least twice a year for check-ups.
What’s the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis?
Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease, when your symptoms are mild and can still be treated quickly. Periodontitis is the advanced stage, when your teeth start to loosen and your overall health is threatened.
What if I leave my gum disease untreated?
The faster you seek treatment for gum disease, the less likely you are to suffer from the many potential complications. These include tooth loss, cardiovascular issues, and more. If you show any signs of gum disease, it’s crucial to get treated right away.
What’s the best mouthwash to prevent gum disease?
Many brands of antibacterial mouthwash will help to prevent gum disease. Two popular choices that we recommend are Crest Pro-Health Multi-Protection Mouthwash and Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield.
Visit Dr. Kovacevic for Gum Disease Treatment
Gum disease starts as a relatively minor issue, but it can quickly develop into a serious problem if you’re not careful. For gum disease diagnosis and treatment solutions, call our office at (724) 836-2433 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kovacevic. We look forward to meeting you.