One of the most common dental diseases we see is periodontitis. This is inflammation and infection of the gums and affects 3 million people in the U.S. alone. This disease is caused by periodontal bacteria that build up over time. Most often this is because an individual has poor oral hygiene habits.
The most common reason for their rapid growth is the presence of plaque for them to feed off of. The natural by-product of their feeding causes the gums to become inflamed and ultimately infected. Periodontitis has also been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. It is truly a systemic issue.
What are the symptoms of periodontitis?
Periodontitis is characterized by sore, bleeding gums. This typically is most obvious when you’re brushing and flossing. As the infection progresses you’ll notice a foul odor that doesn’t go away after you brush your teeth.
Can I self-diagnose periodontitis?
If you believe you might have periodontitis, it’s important that you schedule an appointment with Dr. Wang as soon as possible. Dr. Wang understands the symptoms to look for and can determine what stage of the disease you’re in and how to treat it.
Self-diagnosing periodontitis will do nothing to help you actually treat the disease. After all, you need to know where you’re at, where you want to be, and how you plan to get there. Many treatments for periodontal disease required more than just brushing and flossing.
What are the stages of periodontitis?
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of periodontitis. It’s characterized by bleeding and swollen gums that are caused by plaque build up along the gumline. When this plaque produces toxins, the gums tend to swell and become irritated.
At this stage of the disease, reversal is possible because your bone and connective tissue haven’t been affected. The implementation of proper brushing, flossing, and scaling from your dentist will play a large part in the reversal process.
At this stage of the disease, your bone and connective tissue are damaged to a point that they cannot be reversed. A pocket may begin to form along the gumline. This pocket ultimately traps food and plaque. While the disease can’t be reversed at this stage dental treatment will help to prevent further damage.
This is the final stage of the disease. Your bone and connective tissue are damaged to the point that you likely have loose or missing teeth. This can affect your bite, speech patterns, and self-esteem and require extensive treatment.
Due to tooth loss, you’ll likely have to get partial dentures or implants, both of which are expensive, yet required to improve your quality of life.
If you believe you are suffering from periodontitis, schedule an appointment with Dr. Wang. He can determine if you have the disease and what the best course of treatment would be. And, if you don’t have the disease he can help solve any of the symptoms that made you think you might have it, such as bad breath or sore gums.