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Gum disease is a progressive but preventable issue that affects your oral health. Without treatment, gum disease can cause tooth loss as well as other systemic health problems. The good news is that there are many good gum disease treatment options in Colorado Springs, CO. Dr. Asher Henegar at R. Asher Henegar, D.D.S., P.A. can help assess the severity of your condition and recommend the best course of action for you.
Gum disease, or periodontitis, is an infection of the periodontal tissue in the mouth. Most often, gum disease is caused by poor dental hygiene, though in its early stages, it’s possible to treat it and avoid long-term damage to oral health.
Gum disease is progressive, meaning it will get worse over time and could lead to tooth loss and other health problems if you don’t develop a good gum disease treatment plan. Studies have connected it to health problems, like respiratory illness, diabetes, heart disease, and more.
The stages of gum disease are:
Gingivitis: Inflammation of the gingiva, the portion of the gums you can see above and below your teeth. Symptoms include swollen and sore gums, and bleeding is possible with gingivitis.
Periodontitis: If gingivitis goes untreated, it will eventually progress to slight or moderate periodontal disease. In these middle stages, gums begin to recede from the teeth, which creates small pockets between the teeth and affected areas of the gums. Bacteria can grow in these spaces, creating further infection and eventually causing teeth to become movable. Bleeding is very common with slight and moderate periodontal disease.
Advanced periodontitis: In this stage, the infection in the gums will cause deterioration of the tissue that connects the teeth to the bone, leading to tooth loss. Most people with advanced periodontal disease experience extreme pain, and they are most likely to have systemic physical reactions to the infection in their gums.
It is true that severe cases of periodontal disease sound dire. Pain, bleeding, and widespread infection in the body are not pleasant outcomes. The good news is that at the first sign of gingivitis, Dr. Asher Henegar can work to develop a treatment plan.
The staff at R. Asher Henegar, D.D.S., P.A. in Colorado Springs, CO will use a tiny device to measure the distance between your gum tissue and tooth roots. This helps them determine how advanced your gum disease is and how best to treat it.
Gingivitis is the easiest stage to treat, with a deep cleaning and establishing a good dental hygiene routine. Treating periodontitis may require scaling and root planing (SRP) to clean out periodontal pockets and minimize bacteria accumulation, while advanced periodontitis is more often treated with pocket reduction surgery (flap surgery), bone grafting, soft tissue grafts, or tissue regeneration.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that almost half of adults over the age of 30 (47.2%) have some form of periodontal disease, so if you’re dealing with gum disease, you’re not alone.
Because gum disease is caused by bacteria that form in plaque deposits on teeth, good daily dental hygiene and regular dental cleanings are the best way to keep your gums healthy. Twice-annual dental cleanings remove plaque buildup and allow our team of dental professionals to assess your gum health.
But good dental health is a daily need. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing after meals can help reduce plaque buildup and ensure that food doesn’t get stuck near the gumline, leading to an infection.