The Importance of Treating Gum Disease
Gum disease is what’s known as a progressive disease, which means that it continues to progress until it is treated. Gum disease can be prevented, and if caught and treated early enough, it can even be reversed. If gum disease is allowed to progress, it can worsen into advanced stages which can endanger both your oral and overall health. Advanced gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other severe effects inside your mouth. Periodontal treatment can prevent gum disease from threatening your teeth and increasing your risk of developing health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer.
The earliest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. The roots of the word, gingi- refer to the gum tissue, and the suffix -itis, refers to inflammation; gingivitis is the inflammation of gum tissue. Signs of gingivitis are usually red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush or floss. It is typically caused by poor oral hygiene that allows for bacteria, plaque, and tartar to build up along the gum line and underneath the gums. Early treatment may include a professional cleaning or even upping your oral hygiene routine at home. This can usually be enough to remove the irritating and inflammation-causing bacteria, and get your gums back to healthy.
A regular professional cleaning may not be enough to remove the bacteria from your gums. A deep cleaning, also known as a periodontal cleaning or root planing and scaling, may be required. When gum disease gets worse, it can begin to cause the gums to recede, which can allow for the bacteria to get deeper and attack the roots and bones of the teeth. A root planing and scaling involves cleaning deep beneath the gums to fight back the bacteria. At advanced stages of gum disease or in the most advanced stage known as periodontitis, gum disease cannot be cured. Regular treatments may be required to maintain the bacteria levels to keep the damage at bay.