Whether due to poor hygiene, bad eating habits or just bad genetic luck, lots of Americans suffer from gum disease, which is characterized by swollen and bleeding gums, among other signs and symptoms. As with a great many other diseases of the body, gum disease progresses in stages of steadily increasing severity. Each one of these stages, in its turn, requires an ever more involved course of treatment. Because Roger Curtiss, DDS — our East Northport dentist — sees patient education as an integral component of patient health, we’d like to take a moment to tell you a little bit more about the stages of gum disease and the stages of addressing it.
Gum disease starts off small, when bacteria in accumulated plaque cause gums to become red and inflamed. This first stage is called “gingivitis”, and, generally speaking, it’s fairly easily cured with a combination of improved oral hygiene habits and a professional cleaning. However, if gingivitis is allowed to fester unimpeded, swollen gums pull away from the teeth, creating pockets where plaque and bacteria can gain an even stronger foothold. This is called periodontitis, and once this happens, your East Northport dentist will need to go beyond simple cleaning to a pair of procedures called periodontal scaling and planing to bust up plaque deposits and smooth out the roots of affected teeth (bacteria love any nook and cranny they can find). Now, if Roger Curtiss, DDS, checks you out and finds signs that these pockets in your gums have become especially large, you may need to undergo pocket reduction surgery.
You may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Sure, gum disease is uncomfortable and somewhat unsightly, but, really, what’s the big deal? We here at the practice of Roger Curtiss, DDS, hate to break it to you, but gum disease threatens more than just your comfort and appearance. If left to its own devices, periodontal disease can cause tooth-loss and, believe it or not, spread serious infection to other parts of your body. This is why prompt treatment is so very important. If you’ve noticed your gums aren’t looking so hot — or even if you’ve simply not been to the dentist in a while — call or go online to set up an appointment with our East Northport dentist today!