The majority of tooth loss experienced by Americans today is the direct result of undiagnosed or untreated gum disease. This is particularly unfortunate, because gum disease is a completely preventable condition! Our top-rated St. Petersburg, FL, periodontist is here to educate you on the causes and signs of gum disease, aka periodontal disease. With a little extra care, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy and intact.
The 3 Stages of Gum Disease, According to Our St. Petersburg, FL, Periodontist
Gingivitis: The Beginning Signs of Gum Disease
Gingivitis, the early stage of periodontal disease, is your body’s natural response to being attacked by the bacteria contained in plaque. According to our periodontist in St. Petersburg, gingivitis is usually identified through the following symptoms:
- Red, mildly inflamed gums
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth
- Chronic bad breath
Sometimes, gingivitis can be present without you even realizing it. As long as you see your dentist in St. Petersburg for a dental cleaning and exam once every six months, your dentist will be able to identify whether you have gingivitis or not.
How Do You Get Gingivitis?
Gingivitis can be exacerbated if you don’t regularly brush and floss, if you use tobacco or cigarettes, and if you aren’t eating a proper, nutritional diet. Gingivitis can also be made more likely by genetics or hormonal changes – in fact, some pregnant women find themselves suffering from gingivitis because of the influx of pregnancy hormones!
Periodontal Disease – Gingivitis’s Mean Cousin
Like most medical issues, gum disease won’t go away all by itself. If you and your St. Petersburg, FL, periodontist or dentist don’t work together to address your gingivitis, it will eventually transform into advanced gum disease, also called periodontal disease. At this stage of gum disease, your gums will be quite sore, swollen, and bloody. That’s not the end of it, either!
Because gum disease attacks your gums and underlying bone, your teeth lose their support structure. As the periodontal disease progresses, your teeth will start to loosen and wiggle, and eventually they will fall out. Missing teeth means more than having gaps in your smile, too! When you lose teeth, your ability to bite and chew is compromised, and you can even begin to have difficulty with speech articulation.
Our 5-Star-Rated St. Petersburg, FL, Periodontist Warns Patients That Gum Disease Knows No Boundaries
Gum disease doesn’t stop at your mouth, either. Diabetes, respiratory disease, heart disease, and even some forms of cancer have been linked to the same bacteria that causes gum disease. By stopping your gum disease while it is still in the gingivitis stage, you are keeping these bacteria from entering your bloodstream and potential saving yourself from far worse health problems down the road.
In short, gum disease is definitely an issue you want to avoid, so make sure you work with your St. Petersburg periodontist or dentist to ensure you are giving your oral health the attention it deserves.
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to dentistry and periodontics, feel free to contact Dr. Bruce M. Crawford, with a convenient dental and periodontal office in St. Petersburg, FL, by clicking here or by calling 727.231.5908.