At various times in a person's life, they may experience gum disease. Here are two of the stages of gum disease and when they are likely to present.
A person may experience gingivitis at any age. The condition occurs as the gums become inflamed. The inflammation is often due to the exposure of the gingival tissues to bacterial acids.
Harmful bacteria that live in the mouth feed on carbohydrate debris that is left in the oral cavity from meals and snacks. As the microbes feed and digest their food, they release acids as waste. The acids dissolve the tooth enamel, causing decay. Additionally, they inflame the gums. The inflammation may cause the gingival tissues to redden, bleed, and swell. Thus, you may notice a bit of blood on your toothbrush bristles or floss as you clean your teeth.
Although gingivitis may be alarming, it can often be remedied by simply improving the cleanliness of your mouth. Thus, be sure to brush and floss according to your dentist's recommendations. Also, consider using an antimicrobial mouth rinse to help lessen the number of acid-producing microbes in your mouth.
Periodontitis is a severe form of periodontal disease. The condition presents as gingivitis progresses. Unlike gingivitis, periodontitis usually requires professional treatment.
As the gums become increasingly inflamed, they may pull away from the teeth, causing the formation of spaces between the teeth and gingival tissues. These spaces become breeding grounds for bacteria and can incite the development of a gingival infection. The deeper the spaces or pockets, the more severe the gum condition. If left unchecked, periodontitis may cause tooth and bone loss.
Periodontitis is more prevalent among older people and is often the underlying reason for the loss of large numbers of teeth. Nevertheless, with proper treatment, periodontitis can be reversed.
The dentist may prescribe a root planing and scaling procedure to clear away bacteria and help the gums heal. During the procedure, the provider scales plaque and tartar from the teeth, including the dental surfaces that are usually hidden by the gums. The dentist also smooths the roots of the teeth, making them less irritating to the gingival tissues.
The state of the gums may improve significantly after the treatment. However, in some cases, the treatment may have to be repeated for optimal results.
For more information about gum disease, schedule a consultation with a periodontist in your local area.