Gum disease, or periodontitis, can seem terrifying at first glance. While there are complications that can come from gum disease, many patients are concerned that the condition may be life-threatening. While gum disease on its own is unlikely to be deadly, untreated gum disease can lead to a wide range of issues, including but not limited to tooth loss, gum loss, and other health concerns. However, gum disease has been linked to several adjacent conditions, including heart disease and esophageal cancer.
While this does not mean that every case of gum disease is life-threatening, prompt treatment of gum disease can be crucial to prevent an increased risk of heart disease and esophageal cancer. Let’s get into what causes gum disease and how it is treated.
What is Gum Disease
Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease, while periodontitis is the advanced form of the condition. Gum disease or periodontitis is a severe infection of your gums. It primarily attacks the soft tissue of your gums and can lead to bone loss, tooth loss, and decay. In addition, most forms of gum disease can be linked to poor oral hygiene, so it’s essential to floss daily and brush your teeth at least twice a day.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Signs of gingivitis include puffy, swollen gums and bleeding gums when brushing your teeth or eating food. Periodontitis has more severe symptoms, including excess blood when brushing your teeth, pus between teeth and gums, loose teeth, losing teeth, painful eating or chewing, spaces in your teeth, or misalignment in your jaw other symptoms. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, immediately make an appointment with your dentist for treatment.
Thankfully, gingivitis can be reversed with good oral hygiene in most cases. However, periodontitis requires more intense treatment to prevent the disease from progressing.
Gum Disease Treatments
For mild gum disease like gingivitis, removing plaque and tartar from your teeth and brushing and flossing can help treat the condition. In many cases, getting a softer toothbrush can reduce discomfort while cleaning your teeth and help your body fight the disease.
However, more intensive treatments may be necessary for advanced gum disease. Some treatment options include gum grafts, regenerative procedures for your jawbone, dental crown lengthening, and other gum surgeries to help reduce gum “pockets” that can trap infection.
Your dentist and the periodontal team will let you know the suitable treatment options for your teeth and budget. Remember, early treatment of periodontal disease can help save your teeth and lower your risk for more advanced health issues, including heart disease and esophageal cancer.
If you are looking for a Houston area dental professional to help treat gum disease, or are looking to make an appointment, give Bright Value Dental a call at (713) 668-1600. Our dental team is happy to answer any and all questions you may have, and we look forward to hearing from you. We offer friendly, supportive dental care to patients in the Houston area. We would be happy to have you visit our office.