There are a few dental or oral conditions that are mostly or even entirely preventable with the right care, and gum disease is a good example. While many people experience some level of gum disease, which describes an infection of the gums that often leads to bleeding, swelling and other symptoms, proper oral health practices will limit your risks of this condition, or help decrease and eliminate its presence.
At Hillfield Pediatric & Family Dentistry, many of our dental services, from pediatric dentistry through orthodontics and more, will involve methods that limit the risk of gum disease in our patients, or help remove it if it's already present. What are the stages of gum disease, and why are these far riskier if you're ignoring or failing to treat the obvious symptoms at play? Here's a basic primer.
Gum disease is known to progress in stages, which worsen over time and lead to a number of adverse effects on the gums and tooth, including an elevated risk for tooth loss, oral cancer and more. The first stage is also known as gingivitis, which means inflammation of the gums. This might cause bleeding when brushing or minor discomfort during eating or drinking, but it's generally considered to be reversible.
What comes next is the more serious periodontitis, or advanced gum disease. This can lead to significant pockets forming between the teeth and gums, which an individual will notice because of the increased difficulty they'll have in flossing. As this worsens, there's also an elevated risk for loose teeth, bone loss and even infections of the jaw and facial regions. In some cases, a person might be best served by eventually considering gum surgery to help maintain healthy gums and teeth, or implants for those who have been completely toothless.
The later stages we went over above, however, will only take place if gingivitis or more mild forms of gum disease go untreated. If you're looking to avoid the more serious health risks that can come with more advanced gingivitis, getting regular cleanings at Hillfield Pediatric & Family Dentistry will help keep your teeth clear of plaque. This is a major contributor to both inflammation of the gums and the tartar buildup that can lead to gum disease.
If you're already suffering from these risks, don't worry -- Hillfield Pediatric & Family Dentistry has toothpaste and other treatments designed specifically for those who already deal with gum disease to help reduce inflammation, plaque and other threats that are known to increase your risks of experiencing this serious condition.
For more on avoiding gum disease, or to learn about any of our family or pediatric dental services, speak to our staff today.