You take great pride in caring for the health of your teeth. You are proactive about preventing tooth decay by brushing and flossing your teeth. However, there is another danger to your dental health—gum disease (periodontal disease). This is an infection that occurs in the gum tissues and can cause significant damage, like tooth loss, if not treated. It is estimated that over half of adults have a form of the infection, but many are not aware they have it because they do not recognize the signs. As your dentist in North York, Dr. Eli Shem-Tov does not want to see you place your dental heath at risk. He has the information you need to spot the signs of gum disease.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection that develops in the gum tissue due to bacteria that is found in plaque and tartar accumulations. Often, the infection occurs due to poor oral hygiene, such as not flossing daily and not maintaining regular dental appointments. While anyone can develop the infection, there are certain factors that increase the risk for it, such as genetics, smoking, and diabetes.
When caught early, the infection is treatable and reversible without producing any long-term damage. However, most people do not recognize the signs of the infection, allowing it to progress to the advanced stages. At this point, significant damage has occurred that cannot be reversed. In addition to tooth loss, your overall health can be negatively affected as well.
What are the Signs of Gum Disease?
Gum disease is broken down into three separate stages, which produce separate symptoms based on the severity of the infection.
Gingivitis: This is the first and mildest stage of the infection, which occurs when the gums become red, swollen, and inflamed. Often, the gums bleed easily when brushing and flossing. At this point, no long-term damage has occurred. The infection can be treated and reversed with a deep cleaning and changes to oral hygiene.
Mild to Moderate Periodontitis: When left untreated, the infection will spread below the gum line causing deep pockets to form in the space between the teeth and gums. As the infection spreads, it begins to destroy the tissue and the bone. At this point, bad breath is likely and you may notice your teeth are becoming loose. You might start to see gum recession and even pockets of pus form.
Advanced Periodontitis: If you reach this stage, the damage caused by the infection is severe and irreversible. The pockets in the gum tissue have become quite large, now destroying the roots of the teeth and supporting structures. Tooth loss is likely at this point and you will need an aggressive treatment.
Where Can I Treat Gum Disease?
If you notice bleeding gums or any other sign of the infection, you need to contact North York Dental right away. We offer treatment for gum disease in North York to restore your oral health. With prompt intervention, we can stop the infection before irreversible damage occurs.