While you might not be aware of it, the health of your gums can greatly impact your overall health. In fact, periodontal disease has been linked to a number of life-threatening conditions, including heart attack, cancer, and kidney disease. This is why it’s so important to see your Morris, IL, dentists, Drs. Douglas and Scott Halkyard, every six months for routine checkups—here, we can detect any issues with your gums before they become out of control and start to affect your overall health.
Here are the different stages of gum disease and what you can expect with each one:
Stage 1: Gingivitis
During its early stages, gum disease is so mild that it can be reversed if you seek proper and immediate treatment. Along with making sure that you are brushing thoroughly twice a day and flossing daily our Morris, IL, dentist may also recommend a deep dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar buildup.
- What to watch for: Symptoms of gingivitis are subtle at this point and you may not even notice any issues; however, it is still possible to experience some redness, bleeding, and swelling. If you find that your gums bleed when you brush and floss, this is often a telltale sign of infection.
Stage 2: Mild Periodontitis
If gingivitis isn’t detected and treated, it will progress into periodontitis, during which the infection will invade and infect both the gums and the underlying jawbone. At this point, not even the most meticulous at-home oral care routine is enough to treat the problem; only your dentist can effectively treat periodontitis.
- What to watch for: Symptoms such as redness, tenderness, swelling, and bleeding may become apparent or worse at this point. You may also notice persistent and unexplained bad breath.
Stage 3: Moderate Periodontitis
If left untreated, periodontitis will continue to spread throughout the gums, causing deep pockets to form between the teeth and gums. These pockets pull the gums away from the teeth, causing some teeth to become loose.
- What to watch for: At this point, you may start to notice receding gums as well as the formation of pockets within the gums. You may also notice loose teeth, a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down, and the expulsion of pus from your gums.
Stage 4: Severe Periodontitis
At this stage, there is significant gum and bone loss caused by the spreading infection. There is significant and often permanent damage to the gums and bones.
- What to watch for: By this time, your teeth have likely begun falling out. While you may not notice jawbone damage, our dentist will use X-ray imaging to determine the true extent of the damage.
Concerned? Give us a call
Don’t let gum disease ruin your smile. Turn to Halkyard Family Dental in Morris, IL, to get this problem under control. We can schedule your next appointment when you call (815) 942-0830.