Gum disease affects a large percentage of adults in the U.S., and its earliest stage (known as gingivitis) is the most common form of it. Its more severe form – periodontitis – is also the leading cause of adult tooth loss, as it erodes the gums and jawbone that support your teeth. Some of the signs of gingivitis are well-known, such as bleeding gums, but many people still fail to seek treatment in time to stop their condition from growing more severe. At our Saxonburg, PA, dental office, we can help you control your gingivitis before it has a chance to cause severe damage, but only if you seek treatment as soon as you notice the signs.
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis describes an infection in your gums, which is the result of certain harmful oral bacteria settling along your gum line and underneath it. The infection can lead to a variety of effects that result in your gum tissues receding from your teeth, becoming inflamed, and eventually, eroding. Because gum disease is progressive, treating it in its earliest stages is the easiest and most effective way to control it. In some cases, the condition may even be reversed, eliminating gum disease so that your gums can fully heal and reattach to your teeth.
The most common early signs
As gingivitis settles into your gums and progresses, some of the most common symptoms can include:
- Bleeding gums
- Redness in your gums
- Darkening patches of gum tissue
- Gums swelling around one or more teeth roots
- Growing pockets between your gums and teeth
- Loosening teeth
- And more
These symptoms commonly indicate the presence of gingivitis, but they don’t often lead to the type of discomfort that can cause alarm. Therefore, patients can often neglect to take them seriously and seek treatment as soon as they notice them. Hesitating or neglecting to seek treatment gives gingivitis the time it needs to become more serious, leading to extensive destruction of your gums and jawbone structure.
What it means they grow worse
Because of the severe damage it can cause, gum disease remains the leading cause of adult tooth loss. By the time many patients do seek treatment, enough tissue and jawbone erosion has occurred to make tooth loss or tooth extraction inevitable. However, when treated promptly, gum disease is highly manageable, and you can prevent it from causing tooth loss even if you can’t cure it.
Find out if you need gingivitis treatment
If you have reason to believe that you might have gingivitis, then don’t hesitate to find out with a thorough dental examination. For more information, schedule a consultation by calling Saxonburg Dental Care in Saxonburg, PA, today at (724) 352-4440.