Do You Have Periodontal Disease?
Modern dental technology and treatments are helping American adults enjoy better oral health well into old age, but periodontal (gum) disease is still a big problem. Advanced gum disease (periodontitis) is still the leading cause of tooth loss in adults according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (National Institutes of Health). Periodontal disease is progressive, so catching it early is the best way to preserve your oral health and protect yourself from tooth loss. Dr. Michael Pugh, your Huntsville, AL, dentist offers preventive and treatment options for every stage of periodontal disease.
Periodontal Disease Prevention and Treatment in Huntsville, AL
Periodontal disease develops in stages, and gets progressively worse if left untreated. Some people don't experience symptoms until the disease has advanced from the gums to the bone tissue, which can ultimately result in tooth loss. One of the earliest warning signs of gum disease is tender, bleeding gums, which is a common symptom of gingivitis, an early form of gum disease.
Gingivitis is caused by inflamed gum tissue due to plaque buildup, but the good news is that when diagnosed and treated early, gingivitis is reversible if it is still localized to the gums and has not spread to the connective tissue that stabilize and keep your teeth in place.
The next stage after gingivitis is periodontitis. At this point, the bone tissue and fibers that support your teeth and gums is affected. One of the most common symptoms of periodontitis is pockets at the gumline that can collect food and bacteria. There are still options available to treat the existing damage and prevent it from getting worse.
The last stage of gum disease is advanced periodontitis, which causes bone loss and tissue deterioration that can loosen your teeth and increase the risk of tooth loss.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
- Red/puffy/swollen gums
- Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth
- Visible gum recession
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Signs of infection like pus
Your best defense against gum disease starts at home. Be sure to brush after every meal and floss at least once a day every day to prevent bacteria buildup and plaque formation. In addition to good oral hygiene, you must also schedule regular visits to the dentist for a check up and professional cleaning every six months to a year.
Find a Dentist in Huntsville, AL
For more information about periodontal disease prevention and treatment, contact Dr. Pugh by calling (256) 536-3386 to schedule an appointment.