You may become self-aware when you’re having a close conversation with somebody and wonder whether or not they’re thinking about if your breath smells bad. Your bad breath could be due to gum disease. Is this serious? Your dentist in Rocky River talks about the various stages and what they mean for your oral health.
What Is Gum Disease?
Typically caused by poor oral hygiene, gum disease is a bacterial infection that can cause bad breath, tooth decay and even loose or shifting teeth. It’s caused by buildup of plaque and tartar below your gum line. Brushing twice a day and flossing ensures that tartar and plaque don’t collect below your gum line and keeps bacteria from growing.
There are three stages of gum disease:
- Gingivitis is the earliest stage where the built-up bacteria irritates your gums by producing toxins. At this stage, the symptoms and damage already done can be reversed because the tissue and bone that hold your teeth haven’t been infected yet.
- Periodontitis is the more advanced stage, causing irreversible damage to your gums, teeth, and At this time, pockets have formed to collect food and plaque, increasing irritation and bacteria buildup. Seeking treatment from your dentist is important for maintaining and controlling the progression of the disease.
- Advanced periodontitis is the most severe stage where you can visibly notice your oral health decline. Decay has caused your teeth to shift or become loose, so your dentist may need to remove them. It affects everything from your bite to your ability to do basic tasks like speaking clearly and chewing. At the stage, the damage is irreversible.
How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?
Gum disease can affect people of all ages. If you notice any symptoms, even small ones, it’s important to report to your dentist because at its earliest stages, it’s still reversible:
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Bad breath
- Gums that have separated from your teeth and created a pocket
What Are My Treatment Options?
Your dentist can not only help you catch gum disease in its earliest stages but can also treat and help better your daily oral routine to prevent your symptoms from progressing. There are a few ways to treat gum disease:
- In less severe cases, your dentist could recommend a deep cleaning called scaling to remove all plaque and tartar buildup. This will keep bacteria from spreading and worsening your symptoms.
- In more severe cases, your dentist may recommend soft tissue laser cleaning to disinfect your gums. Afterward, they will apply an antibiotic that helps fight infections.
- Lastly, PerioProtect may be recommended, which is an FDA-approved treatment that allows you to fight bacteria between visits to your dentist. It’s similar to a mouthguard and delivers medication directly to the affected area of your gums to fight infection.
With three out of four adults affected by gum disease, it’s a problem that shouldn’t be ignored. Professional cleanings and a healthy oral routine are key to preventing gum disease and its progression. Make sure to ask your dentist about ways you can prevent the spread of bacteria and if you are already diagnosed, which gum disease treatment in Rocky River would be best for you.
About the Author
With over 25 years of experience, Dr. William Eick focuses on giving his time and attention to his patients and truly getting to know them. He finds that through developing strong and personal relationships, he can better treat and care for them. He hopes to establish the best dental health possible for his patients. For any questions or to schedule an appointment for your gum disease treatment options, visit our website or contact us at 440-508-4141.