Gum disease affects more than 50% of US adults over the age of 30 and can cause irreversible damage or tooth loss. But what are the signs and stages of gum disease? And how can you prevent it from happening to you? Get your information here from knowledgeable dentists in Las Cruces.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is simply inflammation of the gums that, if not addressed, can seriously affect the bone that supports your teeth. Its symptoms include red and swollen gums, bad breath, receding gumline, sensitive teeth, and loose or shifting teeth.
The effects of gum disease go beyond your mouth. Gum disease has been linked to medical illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Stage 1: Gingivitis
In the first stage of gum disease, plaque buildup causes inflammation of the gums. If not removed through brushing and flossing, it can irritate the gum tissue, occasionally causing bleeding. This early on, damage can be reversed with professional dental cleaning and proper care at home.
Stage 2: Periodontitis
During the second stage of gum disease, irreversible damage starts to occur to the supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place. Pockets can form, trapping food particles and more plaque. Proper dental treatment includes scaling, or removing plaque and tartar buildup at and below the gum line, and root planing, or smoothing the teeth’s roots to prevent future buildup. These routine periodontal cleanings can help keep periodontitis under control.
Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis
By now, your teeth can shift or move because the fibers and supporting bone have been destroyed. In some cases, even aggressive treatment can’t save the natural teeth, and they have to be removed. In fact, advanced periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss for patients over age 35. Even if tooth loss does occur, your dentist should be able to help you with high-quality, custom replacements to restore your confident smile.
How Do You Prevent Gum Disease?
The good news is that gum disease is preventable!
Keep plaque from building up in the first place by brushing and flossing your teeth daily. Also, use antibacterial toothpaste and mouthwash to kill the bacteria in your mouth. Just as importantly, attend your six-month checkup with your dentist and ask about any concerns you may have. If you visit your dentist regularly, they should test for gum disease for early detection and treatment.
About the Practice
At Painted Skies Dental Center, there are two talented and knowledgeable dentists, Dr. Ramon Ortiz and Dr. Natalie Ortiz. “Dr. Ray” is the Patterson Dental CEREC trainer for dentists in the Southern New Mexico and El Paso areas. Since opening Painted Skies in 2007, “Dr. Natalie” has mastered CEREC dentistry and has become certified in Invisalign by attending prestigious continuing education courses. She also attends courses on occlusion and esthetics to offer the latest techniques to her patients. You can contact them by calling (575) 233-6648 or clicking here.