What are the signs of gum disease?

Gum disease is one of the most common dental health issues, with more than 75% of adults having some form of the disease at some point in their lives.

Treating gum disease is important for both dental health and overall health. Many studies have shown the relationship between poor oral health and physical health issues such as heart disease and diabetes, among others. Patients with gum disease may not realize that they have it until they visit Charlotte dentist Dr. Hess for a regular visit or come in for an emergency visit due to a more serious problem. In advanced stages, gum disease can even lead to tooth loss.

Stages of Gum Disease

Gingivitis: this is the earliest stage of gum disease and when it is the most treatable. Gingivitis may be characterized by sensitive or bleeding gums because the soft tissue has become somewhat inflamed due to the presence of harmful bacteria.

Periodontitis: the later form of gum disease, periodontitis develops when gum disease has advanced enough to cause substantial irritation and swelling, creating pockets around the teeth where bacteria can get in and affect the tooth structure, often leading to loose or lost teeth.

At Union County Center for Comprehensive Dentistry, Dr. Hess offers periodontal therapy to treat gum disease and restore oral health. For patients with gingivitis, or the earliest signs of gum disease, a thorough cleaning may be sufficient. In some cases a procedure called scaling and root planing, an intense cleaning and scraping of the deeper recesses of the gums, is required to remove plaque and prevent further damage.

For patients who have more advanced gum disease such as periodontitis, Dr. Hess may recommend a more complex procedure such as surgery on the affected tissue. Dr. Hess offers laser dentistry to treat gum disease with more accuracy and less pain!

Restoring gum health is important in order to keep the teeth strong and healthy- maintaining a good oral hygiene routine at home is also a part of keeping gum disease from developing or returning.