Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) is one of the top reasons that adults lose teeth. Gum disease is caused when plaque builds up on and between the teeth; if left unchecked, the plaque can create bacteria that damages the gums. Gum disease occurs in two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. If you notice that your gums are red, swollen, or bleed easily, consult your dentist as soon as possible. At this stage, the disease can usually be eliminated by practicing better oral hygiene. If the gingivitis is left untreated, it can eventually become periodontitis. Gums that are infected with periodontitis fail to support the teeth efficiently, potentially leading to tooth loss.
Those with gum disease may not even know that they have it. The following symptoms may be an indication that you need to meet with Dr. Hahn:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums that bleed easily
- A gum line that appears to have separated from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath or unpleasant taste in your mouth
- Loose or separating permanent teeth
Treatment for gum disease is determined by the individual needs of each patient. The treatments range from deep cleaning to periodontal surgery or dental implants. The best option, however, is prevention. Taking care of your teeth now can prevent unpleasant symptoms, tooth loss, and costly procedures in the future. Follow our plan for preventative dental health to keep your smile healthy and beautiful.