Did you know that 47.2% of Americans suffer from some form of gum disease?
With numerous causes and three distinct levels of severity, gum disease is arguably the most prevalent dental condition that patients may struggle with. Each stage of gum disease is characterized by different symptoms, and at the worst stage, tooth loss becomes a legitimate possibility. Explore some of the most common causes of gum disease, and learn the differences between its three stages.
What Causes Gum Disease?
The most basic way that gum disease forms is due to the accumulation of plaque on the teeth. When plaque, or the sticky biofilm comprised of your bacteria, reaches the gum line, it can quickly cause irritation. If left untreated, this can lead to the first stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis. The condition isn’t likely to heal by itself, so it’s vital to seek treatment before pockets develop in the gums and your condition worsens.
Other Risk Factors of Gum Disease?
Many different actions can increase the risk of developing gum disease. These range from smoking tobacco to taking certain medications. Peruse this list of the most prevalent causes and risk factors of gum disease.
Whether you smoke or chew, using tobacco is one of the worst things for your smile, as well as your overall health. Since smoking or chewing tobacco leads to a wide range of diseases ranging from gingivitis to cancer, it’s strongly recommended to give up the habit.
Although we all deal with stress on a daily basis, high levels of stress can take their toll on your health. The main way that stress hinders your oral health is by making it nearly impossible for the body to fight infections by weakening your immune system and causing inflammation. This allows existing infections to spread or become more difficult to treat.
Grinding your Teeth (Bruxism)
While some people may catch themselves grinding their teeth on occasion, those who do it to the point of causing harm suffer from a disease known as bruxism. The problem lies in the subtle grinding movements of the teeth since they weaken and destroy the tissue around your gums.
Gum disease can be a side effect of different diseases, especially diseases that are known to cause inflammation. Examples of diseases that may raise your chance of developing gum disease include diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Age is a major determining factor for the presence of gum disease. The older we get, the more difficult it is to avoid this common dental problem. In fact, 70% of people over the age of 65 suffer from gum disease.
The Evolution of Gum Disease – 3 Stages
While signs of gum disease start with irritable gums, they expand into worsening conditions that include bleeding, pain, and severe irritability. While the earliest stage of gum disease isn’t going to cause unbearable discomfort, it will quickly lead to other stages that are progressively worse. Discover the three stages of gum disease and what can be expected from each of them.
As the earliest and most mild stage of gum disease, gingivitis is also the most common. Characterized by red, irritable gums, gingivitis does not pose a risk of losing teeth or permanent damage to connective tissue. Gingivitis can often be treated with thorough brushing and flossing, but may also require a scaling and root planing procedure from your local dentist.
The most notable characteristic of periodontitis is nerves and connective tissue that have sustained permanent damage. This means that surgeries such as gum grafts may be required to maximize the remaining tissue. Another concern is that pockets begin to form beneath the gum line, trapping food, plaque, and other debris that can worsen the infection.
The most severe stage of gum disease is advanced periodontitis. At this point, fibers and connective tissue in the gums have been completely destroyed. This causes your teeth to lose stability, and they may wiggle around in your mouth or fall out entirely. When suffering from advanced periodontitis your teeth are hanging by a thread, so this is essentially your final chance to save them.
Visit Sycamore Creek Dental for Gum Disease Treatment
If you’ve suffered from symptoms of gum disease, it’s crucial to begin treatment before the problem becomes worse. It doesn’t take long for your irritated gums to lead to damaged connective tissue and painful pockets. Fortunately, gum disease is highly treatable in its early stages. Visit our Corona dental team at Sycamore Creek Dental and we’ll get you on the path to a white, healthy smile again. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment!