Fewer statistics are scarier than the one we are about to share: 80% of Americans develop gum disease at some point in life. That means that four out of every five people will battle gum disease. The good news is that most of those battles are short-lived because early stage gum disease is easy to cure. The bad news is that gum disease is also the number one cause of lost adult teeth in our country, which shows that too many people don’t get the care they need when they need it. Let’s take a look at the stages of gum disease and how you can keep your smile safe.
Gingivitis – You’ve probably heard this word in a million toothpaste, mouth rinse, and floss commercials. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. It is undetectable to you, but we see it during a dental cleaning. Gingivitis is very easy to treat. In fact, we will have removed the infection by the end of your routine cleaning. We might recommend using a different type of mouthrinse or talk with you about your flossing habits, but there’s no reason to think that gum disease will be a serious problem for you as long as you maintain your routine cleanings.
Advanced Gum Disease – The real trouble happens when someone doesn’t see a dentist on a regular basis. Gum disease spreads by going deeper and deeper into your gums. It works down along the tooth root forming pockets of infection that loosen your gums. Eventually, the infection reaches the bone where it weakens the tooth root’s stability. Treating this type of infection means turning to much more serious procedures like scaling and root planning, a round of antibiotics, or oral surgery to repair your gums.
Prevention – The one commonality among all gum disease patients is that it could have been prevented. Gum disease is 100% preventable, but it requires a good oral hygiene routine. It requires you to floss, brush, and use a mouthrinse when necessary. Most of all, you need to maintain your routine dental cleanings. With these preventive steps in place, you won’t need to fear gum disease!
Gum disease is a serious condition that affects millions of us. Don’t wait until you notice the symptoms (bleeding gums, gum swelling, loose teeth, etc) to call us. The key to beating gum disease is prevention. Contact us today to set up your next cleaning. We would love to hear your questions and concerns about gum disease, and we would love to help you have a healthier smile! Come see us soon!