Gum Disease

Gum Disease in Old Bridge, NJ

Gum disease starts when you have bacteria grow in your mouth. This can occur when you don't brush your teeth enough or floss well. Other factors that contribute to the development of gum disease include medications and general health conditions.

Gum disease can start with swollen, red, and bleeding gums. If left untreated, it can spread to the bones surrounding the gums, making it painful to chew.

Stages of Gum Disease

There are four stages of gum disease. 

Stage 1: Initial Periodontitis

This is the early stage of gum disease, where inflammation begins to affect the supporting structures of the teeth. Plaque buildup at the gum line causes irritation and infection. Symptoms may include redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums, especially during brushing or flossing. There is generally no pain at this stage. With proper dental care and improved oral hygiene, initial periodontitis can be reversed.

Stage 2: Moderate Periodontitis

As the disease progresses, the infection spreads below the gum line, causing more significant damage to the bone and tissues supporting the teeth. Symptoms become more pronounced and may include persistent bad breath, more noticeable swelling and bleeding, and some loss of bone around the teeth. Treatment may involve more intensive cleaning procedures at Empire Dental Group, such as scaling and root planing, to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line. In some cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to combat the infection.

Stage 3: Severe periodontitis with potential for tooth loss.

At this stage, the disease has caused substantial damage to the supporting structures of the teeth. Pockets between the teeth and gums become deeper, and significant bone loss occurs. Symptoms include severe gum recession, deep periodontal pockets, loose teeth, and possibly pus between the teeth and gums. The risk of tooth loss increases significantly. Treatment may require more advanced procedures, such as flap surgery to reduce pocket depth and regenerate lost bone and tissue. Tooth extraction might be necessary if the damage is too severe.

Stage 4: Severe periodontitis with potential for loss of all the teeth.

This is the most advanced stage of gum disease, with extensive damage to the bone and connective tissues. The risk of losing all teeth is high. Symptoms include severe pain, difficulty in chewing, pronounced tooth mobility, and extensive gum recession. Teeth may shift or become misaligned due to the loss of support. Treatment options are limited and may involve extensive surgical procedures, such as bone grafts or soft tissue grafts. In cases where most or all teeth are lost, Dr. Pavlushkin may recommend dentures or dental implants to restore function and aesthetics.

Preventing Gum Disease at Home

It is important to have proper oral hygiene, such as brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily. By doing this, you can go a long way in preventing and reversing gum disease. Additionally, using an antibacterial mouthwash can help reduce/kill the bacteria that contribute to gum inflammation.

  • Brushing your teeth after meals helps remove food debris and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. It is also important to brush your tongue; bacteria love to hide there.
  • Flossing at least once a day helps remove food particles and plaque between teeth where your toothbrush can’t quite reach.
  • Mouthwash can help reduce plaque and may remove remaining food particles in your mouth and around your teeth.

Don’t forget to have regular exams and teeth cleanings at our Old Bridge dental office to effectively remove plaque and tartar that can accumulate even with thorough daily brushing and flossing. Early detection and treatment are key to preventing the progression of gum disease and maintaining overall dental health.

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