What Is Gum Disease ?

Gum disease is a serious gum infection that damages gums and can destroy jaw bone

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Gum Disease

Gum (periodontal) disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the hard (bone) and soft (gum) structures that support the teeth and can affect the overall health of the body as it is known to be strongly linked to a plethora of other health conditions including heart disease and stroke. Perhaps because gum disease is a relatively painless condition at least until the advanced stages. This may be why It is the leading cause of tooth loss in America. Nearly half (46%) of all adults aged 30 years or older show signs of gum disease and severe Gum disease affects about 9% of adults (Source)

Types of Gum Disease / Stages of Gum Disease

Generally, there are two basic types of gum disease namely:

  1. Gingivitis: This is the earliest stage of gum disease
  2. Periodontitis. This is a relatively advanced stage of Gum disease. Often at this stage of gum disease,the damage is typically irreversible.
stages of gum disease

Gingivitis - Early Stage of Gum Disease

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. This is the earliest stage of gum disease, and it IS  inflamed gums,the gum is  red, swollen, and bleeds easily which is mainly due to plaque/tartar buildup. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment  with cleaning and good oral home care.

Treatment for early stage Gum disease (Gingivitis)

Non Surgical gum disease treatment like Professional Dental Cleaning, Scaling and root planning combined with good oral hygiene is the best solution for mild to moderate cases of gum disease. i.e. Gingivitis

Periodontitis - Severe Gum Disease or advanced Stage of Gum Disease

Advanced Periodontitis is the most severe stage of gum disease. When Gum disease becomes severe, patients experience very loose teeth and would often become mobile due to lack of support from the surrounding bone. Biting and chewing may hurt because the teeth are mobile and it can eventually lead to tooth loss. Surgical treatment is often necessary to correct advanced periodontitis. Other stages of Gum disease includes :

  1. Early Periodontitis
  2. Moderate Periodontitis
  3. Advanced periodontitis

Gum Disease Pictures

Treatment for advanced stage Gum disease (Periodontitis)

Depending on the stage of the gum disease, a patient has multiple treatment options for dealing with gum disease. For extreme cases of gum diseases also referred to as advanced stage of periodontitis (4th stage of gum disease) , Surgical treatment of gum disease may be necessary. These includes:

  • Flap Surgery /Pocket reduction surgery
  • Bone Grafting to replace bone destroyed by gum disease 
  • Bone surgery, 
  • soft tissue grafts and
  • guided tissue regeneration 
Receeding Gums Treatment

Depending on the underlying cause;  shape of the gum recession and the levels of bone around the teeth, your Dentist or Periodontist will recommend the best treatment for your receding gums. some treatment options for receding gums  include:

receeding-gums due to gum-disease
Teeth looking longer exposing tooth roots due to gum recession from gum disease

What Causes Gum Disease

The primary cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene leading to bacteria plaque formation. Other issues can contribute as well or increase the chances of an individual having gum disease. This includes:

  • Crooked or Misaligned Teeth
  • Aging
  • SMoking
  • Heredity/ Genetics
  • Poor fitting Dentures
  • Tongue Piercing or 
  • Teeth Grinding

7 Symptoms of Gum Disease

You may find that you look in the mirror one day to discover you’re faced with common symptoms of gum disease. If this happens, you will need to contact us right away. As you may have already assumed, a deep cleaning is in your future. Symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Your teeth look like they’ve been getting longer as gums recede.
  • Teeth that are sensitive
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain when chewing

Bleeding Gums While Brushing

Bleeding Gums can occur if you are brushing too hard. However, more often than not, Bleeding Gum is usually a symptom of Gum Disease. And gum disease is caused by poor oral hygiene which leads to the accumulation of plaque and bacteria under and above the gums hence causing the  inflammation of the surrounding tissues and redness of the gum vis a vis Gum Bleeding while brushing.

Preventing Gum Disease ( Gingivitis or Periodontitis)

SInce poor oral hygiene is the primary cause of gum diseases, Prevention of gum disease comes down to maintaining a basic, daily oral care routine . Try these measures to reduce or prevent gum disease:

  • Consider using an electric toothbrush, which may be more effective at removing plaque and tartar.
  • Use a mouth rinse to help reduce plaque between your teeth, if recommended by your dentist.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. Don’t brush too hard.
  • Floss your teeth once a day at least.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year, or as otherwise recommended by your doctor and/or dentist.
  • Address issues like misalignment and teeth grinding.
  • Avoid smoking or using tobacco.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.

Effects of Gum Disease on Our Health

The state of your oral health affects your overall health. Think about it, your mouth is the entry point to your digestive and respiratory tracts. Gum disease is not just bad news for your teeth it’s also linked to other serious health issues in other parts of your body. If Gum disease is not promptly treated, it can result in serious health conditions such as :

Read more (What are the possible effects of untreated gum disease? | HARBOUR POINTE (harbourpointeoralsurgery.net))

Gum Disease Treatment Cost Houston TX

Depending on the stage of the gum disease, treatment cost may vary from $200 for the early stages of gum disease to $2000 for the severe cases. Note, patients may need multiple visits or appointments over several months to be able to control gum diseases. Sometimes for a lifetime when it’s already at the advanced stage.

Can Gum Disease Be cured or Reversed ?

Early stages of gum disease (Gingivitis) if treated  promptly and the patient embarks on good oral hygiene will not result in any vital bone or tissue loss around the teeth. Advanced stages of gum disease (periodontitis) on the other hand cannot be cured instead it can only be managed to prevent further spread of the infection.

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Dr Akeem AJAYI, BDS, DDS is a top-rated Dentist offering a full scope of General and Cosmetic Dental procedures to patients throughout Houston Texas, Including Katy, Cypress and many More areas. Initially trained as a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) in the premier University of Nigeria, went on several humanitarian missions across the country providing much needed Dental help across the Country before Proceeding to further his study at the prestigious New York University where he graduated with a distinction. Dr AJ is passionate about Dentistry and changing lives for over 15 years in his state-of-the-art Office in Houston one smile at a time.

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