Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley CA
Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, affects about half of adults in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is responsible for bad breath, loose teeth, and is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Could you have it? Today on the blog, we are going to discuss the three stages of gum disease so that you can determine whether you have it, and what you can do about it.
Stage 1 – Gingivitis
Gum disease begins by presenting gums that bleed easily. Gingivitis can affect children and people of all ages. Usually, gingivitis begins as a result of poor oral hygiene. Not brushing twice a day, not flossing, and avoiding the dentist for routine checkups and cleanings. While hormone fluctuations, such as during pregnancy and menopause, can increase one’s risk of developing gingivitis, taking certain medications, or having diabetes also can make it more likely to develop this oral disease.
During this first stage, gingivitis can be stopped by taking care of your teeth and gums and following through with trips to the dentist twice a year for checkups and dental cleanings. However, ignoring it will only make matters worse.
Stage 2 – Mild Periodontitis
While this stage is not reversible, it is manageable. During this stage, harmful bacteria have reached the jawbone supporting the teeth, and have begun slowly eroding the bone. If not treated, the bacteria become more aggressive, causing further damage. Probing depths, recorded by your dentist or dental hygienist, may reach four to five millimeters deep. Also, symptoms of this stage, like gingivitis, include bad breath, and inflamed gums that bleed easily when flossing or brushing.
Stage 3 – Moderate Periodontitis
Just like the previous stage, moderate periodontitis cannot be reversed and presents the same symptoms. Probing depths that measure how much bone has been lost may be as deep as six to seven millimeters. As the bone deteriorates, gum pockets become larger as the gums detach from the base of each tooth. It is impossible to remove bacteria from these deep pockets with brushing and flossing alone. Only routine dental visits as recommended by your family dentists in Los Gatos, can stop this disease in its tracks. Once a patient reaches the next stage of the disease, they likely will experience significant tooth loss.
Stage 4 – Severe Periodontitis
At this stage, 50-90% of the jawbone surrounding your teeth has diminished. Gums are likely sensitive, bleed easily, and may even ooze puss. Teeth are likely very loose, and some teeth may even fall out on their own or while eating. Bad breath is inevitable by this stage, and even daily brushing will have little to no effect on it.
Treating Periodontal Disease
The good news is that this catastrophic disease can be stopped with professional dental treatment. Treatment will depend on what stage of periodontal disease that you have. At Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, we may recommend dental deep cleanings, laser-assisted periodontal therapy that doesn’t involve surgery, or Perio Protect, a medication that you can easily apply to your gums at home. Also, we offer procedures that can be used to rebuild your smile and give you a complete smile makeover, after your gum disease is treated, to help you regain your confidence!
Gum Disease Treatment in Los Gatos
To learn more about the treatments we offer for gum disease, please contact Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry by calling (831) 438-4411 to schedule a consultation. We serve the Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Los Gatos communities.