Stages Of Gum Disease
There are startling statistics about the number of Americans who are suffering from some type of disease of the gum. One estimate has that number at 75%! This statistic becomes even more of a concern when related health conditions and dental problems are taken into consideration. And yet, the prevention of gum disease is simple: daily brushing and flossing can prevent most of the diseases that lead to serious dental and medical health conditions.

Preventive treatment begins with brushing and flossing.

As stated above, the best defense against disease is prevention. Possibly the most effective form of preventive gum disease treatment is regular and thorough brushing and flossing. This will remove the plaque and bacteria that may build up to be the source of gingivitis, which is the first stage of the disease. 

Gum disease treatment is easier and more effective when begun early.

Effective treatment will be more likely when given early on. In order to identify the correct form of treatment, the stages of the disease should be recognized. Here are the three stages:
• Gingivitis
• Periodontitis
• Advanced Periodontitis

The first stage of disease is gingivitis. It develops as the amount of plaque on the teeth begins to irritate the gums, causing inflammation and trapping harmful bacteria under the gums. Infected gums will have a raw, swollen appearance. Infected gums will usually bleed during routine brushing and even gentle flossing. Treatments for gingivitis can be very effective. In fact, most treatments for gingivitis will result in a complete reversal of damage and infection.

As gum disease progresses, more aggressive tactics will be needed.

The second and third stages of disease are periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. These stages of disease will be characterized by deep pockets around the roots of the teeth and receding gums and loose and discolored teeth. At this point, significant damage has been done to the bones and tissues of the gums and this damage cannot be undone. If the disease has progressed to advanced periodontitis, then the teeth themselves may be lost and only very aggressive means will be successful in effectively treating the disease. 

Signs of gingivitis and periodontitis must not be ignored.

As soon as signs of gingivitis or periodontitis have been recognized, appropriate treatment must be put into place. The lifetime consequences of damaged gums, bones and teeth can progress far beyond dental situations. There are serious medical conditions that can affect an individual’s health that are clearly related to untreated dental problems. With proper treatment, the likelihood of those conditions can be reduced. 

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