Summerlin, Las Vegas, and Henderson Nevada
Are your gums bleeding, sore, or puffy? If so, you could be experiencing the early stages of gum disease, known as gingivitis. Gingivitis affects nearly 80 percent of adults in America. This disease can cause catastrophic damage to your oral health, as well as the health of your entire body. The best way to combat the devastating effects of this disease is to seek the care of your Las Vegas dentist Dr. Matthew Wilson.
Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease occurs when an infection develops in your gums and jawbone. This infection forms due to the accumulation of bacteria and the acids it secretes. Over time, these bacterial secretions, if not removed, form into tartar – a hard substance that sticks to your teeth.
The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. During this stage, your infected gums may become inflamed. Other symptoms include gums that are red, puffy, sensitive, or that bleed easily. It is often associated with “pink in the sink” after brushing.
Eventually, these bacteria will build up between your teeth and gums. This causes additional inflammation and, eventually, the formation of pockets, causing your gums to separate from your teeth. These pockets are referred to as periodontal pockets. This is the advanced stage of gum disease, which is known as periodontitis. Once these pockets form, they cannot be cleaned except through professional dental treatment. As a result, the bacteria in the pockets thrive and multiply, making your case of gum disease even worse if not treated.
Consequences of Gum Disease
If left untreated, gum disease poses significant consequences including:
- Gum recession
- Jawbone loss
- Loose teeth
- Total tooth loss
- Pain in jaw joints (TMD)
- Dental pain
- Broken or shifting teeth
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Premature aging, due to a sunken-in facial appearance (a result of significant tooth loss)
If gum disease is detected in its early stage, prompt treatment can prevent permanent damage being done to your teeth and mouth. Once gum disease reaches the stage of periodontitis, then the tissues or structures in the mouth have sustained irreversible damage. However, treatment at this stage prevents any further damage such as tooth loss. Furthermore, professional treatment is the only way to resolve the pockets that form during periodontitis.
Gum disease, if left untreated, can even jeopardize your overall health. The American Academy of Periodontology conducted research that found individuals suffering from gum disease have nearly twice the risk of developing cardiac disease.
Furthermore, research has linked periodontal disease to increasing one’s risk of:
- Cognitive decline
- Heart attack
- Premature births
- Low birth weight in babies
- Certain forms of arthritis
- Certain types of cancers
What causes gum disease?
In most cases, the bacteria that cause gum disease accumulate because of poor oral hygiene and are usually a combination of not brushing and flossing as recommended or failing to see your dentist twice per year for a professional cleaning.
Certain pre-existing conditions or other health factors can also increase your risk for gum disease such as:
- An immune system deficiency, caused by other pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or HIV
- Hormonal changes, which are common in pregnant women or also occur during puberty, menstruation, menopause, or andropause
- A reduction of saliva, a frequent side effect of certain medications
- Stimulation of the abnormal growth of gum tissue, which is another medication side effect
How to Treat Periodontal Disease
Receiving professional dental treatment, as well as practicing good oral hygiene at home, is the only way to combat gum disease. Each case of periodontal disease is treated according to the patient’s need. Sometimes, other treatments such as antibiotic application are used in combination with other therapies to prevent the spread of the disease.
If you have been diagnosed with gum disease or you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with gingivitis, then receiving treatment as soon as possible is vital in safeguarding both your oral health and overall health. To learn more about our treatment program for gum disease, call our office at (702) 331-4700 to schedule a consultation.
Inspire Dental of Summerlin welcomes patients of Summerlin, Las Vegas, and Henderson, Nevada.