When you go to the dentist for your routine cleanings and checkups, you might hear your dentist or hygienist talk about the importance of flossing to help prevent gum disease. Some people may recognize that gum disease is something you should avoid, but what is it really? When most people think of gum disease, they think of bleeding and receding gums. While these certainly are some of the symptoms of gum disease, it is important to understand that gum disease is actually just the beginning of a more serious condition called periodontitis.
There are three different stages of gum disease:
- Gingivitis: This beginning stage is caused by a buildup of plaque beneath the gumline, often the result of poor dental hygiene or lack of flossing. This can cause the gums to become irritated and bleed. This stage can be treated and the damage reversed.
- Periodontitis: If gingivitis is left untreated, the harmful bacteria from plaque begins to eat away at the supporting bone and tissue. This creates pockets around the teeth, making it easier for more plaque to build up. This stage requires more intensive gum treatments and at-home dental care.
- Advanced Periodontitis: This final stage of gum disease results in loose or shifting teeth due to the deterioration of the supporting bone and tissue. This can change your bite alignment or even necessitate a tooth extraction.
If you have noticed that your gums bleed when brushing or flossing, or if they have become irritated or inflamed, we encourage you to call Kelner Periodontics LLC at 732-587-6740 and set up your appointment with our doctor, Dr. Danielle Kelner. We want to help you avoid or treat gum disease in Clark, New Jersey, so that your smile can remain healthy and beautiful.