It is no secret that gum disease is prevalent in our society. In fact, according to the CDC it can be estimated that half of the adult population has some form of gum disease varying in degrees of severity. So what is gum disease and how do you know if you have it?
Gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis) are inflammatory conditions in the mouth. Inflammation is caused by excess bacteria around the gums in plaque and calculus on your teeth. Gingivitis – the less serious of the two diseases – is the inflammation of the gums only. Gingivitis is the beginning stage of periodontal disease and can often be completely reversed with a comprehensive treatment plan. Periodontitis is more serious and is the result of long-term inflammation of the gums. Periodontitis is the inflammation of the supporting structures of the tooth such as the ligament and the bone. Once the disease has progressed to periodontitis, the damage done is irreversible.
Gingivitis is diagnosed by how the gums look as well as if they bleed easily. Many people have only one symptom that there is anything amiss and that is bleeding when brushing or flossing. Usually there is no pain associated with gum disease, which is why many people do not see these symptoms as a serious condition and are less likely to have them addressed. If you are regularly attending a hygiene maintenance program at your dental office, your dentist or dental hygienist will identify these symptoms and collaborate with you to find a plan to treat these diseases.
If you are experiencing bleeding when you are brushing or flossing, it is imperative that you have an exam at a dental office. When caught and treated in the early stages (gingivitis), gum disease is often treatable and reversible. Please reach out to our dental office if you are in the Barrie area and experiencing symptoms of gum disease. We are always happy to answer any questions and can also assist in booking an appointment for you if you have any gum disease concerns.