Gum disease is a serious condition that can cause tooth, tissue and bone loss if not treated. Fortunately, Dr. Carrington of Smile Creations in Covington, GA, offers treatment to restore health for patients in various stages of gum disease. Here, we’ll look at each a stage of gum disease and how it’s treated.
Stage One: Gingivitis
Gingivitis can be a silent condition, making it easily overlooked and very dangerous. Symptoms of gingivitis include bad breath and gums that bleed during brushing or flossing. The extent of gingivitis can be evaluated with a probe that measures the depth of periodontal pockets. While healthy teeth have pockets of about one to two millimeters, gingivitis pockets are usually about two to four millimeters deep.
The good news is gingivitis is very treatable. The best way to reverse gingivitis is to improve oral hygiene, which includes brushing, flossing, and rinsing regularly. A deep cleaning can also remove plaque and tartar that have built up.
Stage Two: Early Periodontitis
When gingivitis is left untreated, it will advance into early periodontitis. At this stage the gums are inflamed, and bone loss often begins. Gingival pockets typically measure between four to five millimeters deep. Gum tissue begins to recede, making you look older.
Treatment for early periodontitis is scaling and root planning, which removes built-up tartar and smooths out the roots to allow the gums to reattach. Patients may be asked to schedule more frequent cleanings and follow-up to monitor improvement.
Stage Three: Advanced Periodontitis
By this stage the gums start to become severely infected and pockets may reach a depth of seven millimeters. Symptoms are usually foul taste in the mouth due to infection, pain when chewing, and intensely bad breath. Patients often lose teeth with advanced periodontitis and remaining teeth will shift. Advanced periodontitis can also increase risk of other medical problems including heart disease and diabetes.
Treatment for advanced periodontitis is multi-faceted and can include antibiotics, surgery, bone/tissue grafting and restorations such as dental implants.
You can help prevent gum disease through proper oral hygiene. Schedule your appointment today by calling (770) 786-2754.