As you age, so does your mouth. It is estimated that 80% of American adults have periodontal disease. Shocking figure, right? Just like many other health issues, with the right tools, at home and at the dentist, most people can slow down the disease and the first stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis.

Gingivitis causes swollen and red gums, slight bleeding during brushing and flossing. With proper home care and dental visits, you can reverse these symptoms and stop progression of the disease to bone loss, the next stage of periodontal disease, which is periodontitis.

Early periodontitis begins with minor loss of bone, which support the teeth. Bone does not regenerate so this is a permanent and damaging loss. At this point, the bacteria is farther down than any toothbrush or flossing can reach. Recession comes into play, which is when the gum tissues pull away due to disease. Along with increased home care, your hygienist may suggest deep scaling and root planning and the frequency of professional cleanings will increase.

Without proper intervention, periodontal disease will progress to moderate periodontitis. With increased bone loss and worsening gum tissue, the teeth may loosen or shift due to loss of bone and unhealthy tissue. Further treatment may be necessary, extensive, and expensive.

The final stage is advanced periodontitis. Biting and chewing can be painful and loose teeth, decay and bacteria that is now to the root of the teeth. Many studies show a definitive link between gum disease and heart issues and type 2 diabetes. The bacteria is now “full blown” and out of control. Organs may be damaged, which could lead to heart attack or stroke and a host of other issues.

Home care is vital, but seeing your hygienist and dentist is very important. Call Weisbard Dental today to schedule a consult or cleaning to get back on track with your oral health.