How Serious is Your Gum Disease?

girl with worried smileIf you’ve developed gum disease, the severity of your condition depends on how long the disease has been neglected. The earlier it’s detected and treated, the less damage gum disease will be allowed to wreak on your soft gingival tissues, making timing one of the most significant factors in effective periodontal treatment. Gauging how serious your gum disease is requires a professional examination by your Encinitas periodontist, but preventing it from becoming a destructive force requires your attention and care, as well.

Gum Disease, Up Close and Personal

Technically, gum disease is an infection resulting from bactrial infection and a person’s immune response. Made by bacteria, for bacteria, dental plaque protects the germs in your mouth and allows them to cling to your teeth, including along your gum line. Some of these germs work to destroy your gums by producing toxins and inciting inflammation. Poor and neglectful hygiene allows bacterial plaque and their destructive influences to overwhelm your gums. While some germs cause damaging inflammation, others target the connective tissues that attach your gums to your teeth. The toxins attack these connective tissues, causing them to separate from your teeth and create pockets that can house more germs. In time, the infection will become gum disease and can spread to your jawbone, destroying your teeth’s foundation and leading to tooth loss if not treated. Some bacteria do not form obvious plaque, but the immune response is still triggered. Some patients do everything that they can at home, and still the disease progresses.

The Stages of Gum Infection

The bacterial infection that marks the beginning of gum disease is known as gingivitis, and when caught, it can often be reversed to prevent any damage to your gum tissue. Gingivitis is marked by redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums, but is still often ignored until full-blown gum disease develops. Also known as periodontal disease, the condition requires expert periodontal care to remove infectious bacteria from underneath your gums and repair injured gum tissue. Severe gum disease, or periodontitis, involves the spread of the infection to the jawbone underneath your gums, which support your teeth by their roots. In fact, among adults in the United States, periodontitis is the leading cause of permanent tooth loss.

About Dr. Ann Kania:

As a board-certified periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania is specially qualified to diagnose and treat issues concerning periodontal tissue and the supportive structures of a patient’s smile, as well as place dental implants for patients with missing teeth. To seek Dr. Kania’s expertise, visit our office or contact us today at (760) 642-0711.