Your gums are just as important to your oral health as your teeth. What is more, they are even more susceptible to infection than your pearly whites. To fight and prevent periodontal disease, or infections that affect the tissue and bone surrounding your teeth, you need to know the signs and symptoms that herald its appearance.
These are the types of gum disease, and how they can be treated.
Gingivitis is a mild condition, and an extremely common one to too. As many as 75% Americans are affected by this gum disease, and many of them do not even realize they have it. This is because there is very little discomfort or obvious outer signs in this kind of infection. Here, the gums appear swollen, and bleed easily as they become infected by the bacteria that inhabit the human mouth. However, it is important to head it off, as the condition can easily worsen, and lead to more severe types of infection.
Inadequate oral health care is the primary cause of gingivitis. The condition can thus quickly be reversed by flossing daily, brushing your teeth twice a day, and paying regular visits to dental offices in Burke, VA. A person's susceptibility to gingivitis has a lot to do with genetics, but those who smoke, suffer from diabetes, or are constantly under high levels of stress, are more prone to develop the condition.
Periodontitis is the next stage of gum disease. Occurring when gingivitis goes untreated, this is a serious condition when the plaque produced by oral bacteria extends below the gum line. When this happens, the presence of toxins triggers an intense immune response where the body has difficulty distinguishing between bacteria, and its own cells. Periodontitis can also be a symptom of other systemic diseases, such as diabetes, or contribute to the severity of other conditions, like heart disease, respiratory conditions and HIV.
As your gums come under attack from both bacterial toxins, and your own immune system, spaces or pockets will form between your teeth and your gums. More food can get trapped in these pockets, and make the situation worse. As these spaces become deeper over time, teeth may become loose, and it may be necessary to remove them as the tissues surrounding them can no longer provide adequate support.
Periodontitis comes in several different stages:
Aggressive periodontitis is fairly common, and can be seen as the next step of infection after gingivitis. Occurring in patients who are otherwise healthy, this condition is characterized by loosening teeth and bone damage.
Chronic periodontitis occurs over a long period of time, and may even start in childhood. The symptoms build up over time, steadily increasing in severity if it goes untreated.
Necrotizing periodontitis is most commonly associated with other immune system conditions, such as HIV and malnutrition. It is characterized by the rotting of gum tissues surrounding the teeth.
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