Most people have no idea what Periodontics is, but about 85 percent of adults in the U.S. have some form of gum disease. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, while the advanced stages are called periodontitis.
The term "periodontics" refers to a dental specialty that focuses on the treatment and prevention of issues that affect the gums, like gum disease.
Important facts about gum disease and periodontics
Here are some important facts about gum disease and how it can affect a person's oral and overall health:
1. It can be fatal
Gum disease occurs when the bones and tissues that support a person's teeth become infected by bacteria. The invasion by the germs leads to the person's immune system sending out antibodies to kill off the infection. This leads to inflammation of the gums, redness, bleeding and tenderness.
Gum disease has also been found to be closely related to a host of serious health issues like strokes, heart disease, certain types of cancer and preterm babies. Gum disease also happens to be the top reason why adults lose their permanent teeth.
2. The stark differences between the two stages
The two main stages of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. When a person has gingivitis, the tooth structures have been invaded by plaque. It typically leads to inflammation and some bleeding. Gingivitis is the first sign that a person's gums need extra attention and it can be completely reversed with some dental treatments and improved oral hygiene.
Things are a lot more complicated when a person has periodontitis.
Periodontitis is the result of gingivitis being unaddressed. The plaque and tartar move deep below the gums, and that leads to the supporting bone structures and the person's teeth being separated. This leads to the formation of periodontal pockets.
Periodontitis is an uncomfortable condition that leads to pain while eating, alignment issues, bleeding, swelling, bad breath, sores in the mouth and loose teeth. It can also lead to pus coming out of the person's gums.
If the person still fails to get treatment, the pocket will continue to expand and the infection will eat away at jawbone tissue until the tooth eventually falls out.
3. It can be prevented
The saying "prevention is better than cure" holds true for gum disease. It is a condition that can be prevented by performing simple tasks such as brushing, flossing and visiting a dentist as recommended.
Regular dental checkups are essential when it comes to preventing gum disease since tartar is removed when the patient's teeth are cleaned. Tartar buildup is what leads to gum disease in the first place. The dentist will also probe the patient's gums searching for pockets.
Gum disease is real and it can be prevented
Do not become a statistic by being part of the 85 percent who already have gum disease. Practice good oral hygiene and see a dentist twice a year to avoid needing some type of periodontics treatment. Schedule an appointment at our Lincroft office if you think you are due for a checkup.
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