Gum disease is a common problem that affects millions of people. A potentially serious condition, gum disease begins as swelling in the gum tissue surrounding teeth. For many, only a few teeth are affected, though untreated gum disease will likely spread from tooth to tooth.
Patient Educational Video about Gum Disease
The condition develops because of toxic bacterial waste, from bacteria
in plaque, which causes the inflammation in gum tissue. Plaque can be
removed with twice a day brushing and regular six-month cleanings with
our experienced hygienist. When not properly removed, plaque will build
up around teeth, and can harden into tartar. Bacteria flourish in plaque
and tartar, weakening both teeth and gum tissue.
Gum tissue is an important part of our oral structure. This soft tissue supports teeth in their proper positions, and keeps them stable for chewing. When affected by gum disease, the gums and bone cannot adequately support teeth, which can become loose, or even fall out in the case of advanced periodontal disease. The early signs of gum disease can be easy to miss without professional evaluation. At Washington Street Dentistry, we carefully examine gum tissue as a part of our routine dental checkups, giving us the chance to treat gum disease early.
Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease is progressive, which points to the importance of early treatment. In its earliest form, gingivitis,
gum disease can be reversed. However, this is the hardest time to spot
the signs. One clue to watch for is bleeding gums. When you brush and
floss your teeth, even if you do so aggressively, gums should not bleed.
If they do, you should seek treatment to return to optimal oral health.
Untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, in which plaque has reached the roots of teeth, causing infection below the gums. Periodontitis can and should be treated so that supportive fibers and bone tissue do not sustain damage.
Advanced periodontal disease can cause teeth to become loose, even shifting in position and affecting the bite. When gum disease has progressed to this extent, the bone and supporting fibers might sustain extensive damage that could lead to the loss of teeth.
The team at Washington Street Dentistry has the training to diagnose and treat gum disease properly so that your smile remains healthy and attractive. Our hygienists provide personalized care for each stage of gum disease, and can guide you on ideal home hygiene techniques for the promotion of healthy gums.
Contact us in Indianapolis for your gum disease evaluation.
Understanding Gum Disease