Almost 65 million members of the adult population have some form of gum disease, and many of them may not even know it. This is overwhelmingly concerning because diagnosis and treatment of gum disease as early as possible are critical to saving your smile and preserving your health.
Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss when left untreated. However, when caught in its earliest stages, referred to as gingivitis, the effects are reversible. Dr. Richard Weigand in Spokane, WA encourages everyone to be aware of gum disease symptoms.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease, is a progressive bacterial infection of the gums caused by bacteria that accumulate in pockets between teeth and gum tissue. If left untreated, this bacterial infection can spread to the underlying bone and cause irreversible damage.
Stages & Symptoms
- Gingivitis is the earliest stage of periodontal disease and is often characterized by red, swollen gums that are tender to the touch and bleed easily when brushing or flossing. At this stage, the condition can be reversed with a professional cleaning and improved hygienic care at home.
- A neglected case of gingivitis can develop into periodontitis, which is more serious and requires more aggressive treatments. Common signs of periodontitis include persistent bad breath, red and swollen gums that bleed easily, receding gums, and shifting teeth.
- Advanced periodontitis is the most severe form of gum disease. At this stage, your gums may have receded significantly, and you may experience widespread inflammation, loose teeth, and even tooth loss.
As gum disease progresses into these later stages, irreversible damage takes place. These effects may include both the loss of teeth and dangerous systemic illnesses that specialized practitioners believe may stem from bacteria entering the bloodstream. There are a number of health risks associated with gum disease, including:
- Heart disease
- Pre-term labor
- Head and neck cancer
- Kidney disease
- Respiratory ailments
Gum Disease Therapy
This periodontal procedure is essentially a deep cleaning of tooth roots beneath the tooth line. The treatment addresses areas that routine at-home and in-office dental care cannot reach, to remove calculus (tartar) and bacteria.
- While the cleaning portion of the procedure is targeted toward cleaning the tooth structure, the process focuses on smoothing out the surface to prevent further disease progression.
Gum Disease Therapy rids the mouth of irritations that trigger gum disease and generate a healthier oral environment for the gums to reattach to the base of the teeth.
Gingivectomy is the removal of inflamed, overgrown tissue. This oral surgery is an adjunct restorative procedure, sometimes considered a receding gums cure. During the procedure, the doctor removes and reshapes loose, diseased gum tissue. The goal of treatment is to reduce the depths of pockets that exist between the teeth and gums, allowing the mouth to heal. In the past, this was an invasive procedure requiring sutures and an extended healing period. Dr. Weigand performs gingivectomy with laser precision, for reduced discomfort and bleeding, superior infection control, and less downtime.