Gum Diseases

Gum Diseases in Seattle, WA

We all know to go to the dentist for routine exams and cleanings. Regular visits are a large part of preventing problems, and keeping our teeth clean when brushing and flossing isn’t enough. One of the reasons for these routine visits is to prevent cavities from forming in our teeth and other tooth-related issues, but it’s important not to forget our gums as well. Gum disease can be very serious and, if left untreated, can impact our oral health and even spread to the rest of our bodies. That’s why it helps to understand the types of gum disease, how they form, and what the dentist can do about them to keep you healthy and free of gum disease.

What Are The Types of Gum Disease?

There are two types of gum disease. The mildest type is gingivitis; the more advanced form is periodontal disease. Both diseases can be problematic, but the further gum disease progresses, the more likely it is to cause harmful effects to a person’s mouth and even other parts of their body. Treating advanced gum disease is also more difficult, so you should see your dentist once every six months for a routine check-up.

Gingivitis occurs when plaque and tartar build up along the gums, at the base of the teeth, and in the spaces in between. If caught early, treating gingivitis with a regular cleaning and basic oral health routine, including an antibacterial rinse, is possible. Gingivitis is characterized by redness and inflammation of the gums.

Once the gum disease advances to periodontal disease, you may notice bleeding and puffiness in the gums, along with redness and inflammation. At this stage, the dentist will perform a deep cleaning, digging into gums at the base of the teeth and into deep pockets for bacteria and debris.

At its worst, periodontal disease can cause gum recession and even jawbone damage, requiring gum tissue grafts and bone grafts to repair the damage and in-depth cleaning and oral care to reverse the gum disease. Maintaining good hygiene is important so gum disease does not come back.

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