How to Spot Periodontal Disease in the Early Stages
A large part of good oral health is prevention and early intervention. Periodontal disease is no different. This disease is one that affects the soft tissue and supportive structures of the mouth, namely gum tissue and bone. Due to the progressive nature of periodontal disease, it is imperative to identify the beginning symptoms and treat the disease before more serious dental problems develop. Doing so will help you maintain good oral health and enjoy a healthy smile.
Early Stage Signs
The first stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. It is characterized by a buildup of plaque on the teeth as well as gum inflammation and irritation. Your gums may appear swollen and red as well as feel tender and sore. If you have gingivitis, you may have difficulty, pain, or bleeding during brushing and flossing. You may even begin to notice your gums receding, giving your teeth a longer appearance. Bad breath is another symptom of gingivitis.
These early stage symptoms of periodontal disease are often remedied easily but need to be identified quickly to avoid more advanced symptoms of the disease.
Prompt treatment for early stage periodontal disease, or gingivitis, is key. If you notice some of the symptoms of gingivitis, you should schedule a routine dental exam and cleaning. During this exam, the buildup of plaque and tartar will be removed, called scaling. Treatment for gingivitis also includes a special emphasis on good oral hygiene habits. Some practices that help you maintain good oral hygiene include:
- Regular brushing (at least twice a day)
- Regular flossing
- Rinsing with mouthwash
- Regular dental exams and cleanings
It may also be necessary to fix or replace poorly fitting crowns and fillings that collect food and bacteria and make brushing and flossing the area ineffective.
What Happens If Left Untreated?
If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into more advanced stages of periodontal disease. In these cases, the gums recede and pull away from the teeth leaving spaces, or pockets, where food and debris can collect. This often causes infection and discomfort. In addition, the bacteria that collects in the spaces between gums and teeth release toxins that attack the bone and supportive tissues that hold teeth in place. In very advanced periodontal disease, bone deterioration can be so advanced that teeth actually fall out.
Oral hygiene and health are very important aspects of overall health. Oral issues such as periodontal disease can create significant discomfort and cause serious harm if left untreated. If you want to learn more about how you can prevent and treat periodontal disease, please call us, California Dental Group, today at 1-800-407-0161. Our dental professionals can help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile.