Gum disease is one of the most prevalent bacterial infections among adults in the United States. In fact, a conservative estimate is that some 80 percent of this population has some form of gum, or periodontal, disease. Unfortunately, many people don’t even realize they have this condition, which cannot only impact your oral health, but your general health, as well. At Comprehensive Dental, our dentists treat gum disease in Totowa, NJ, with periodontal therapy designed to reverse the effects of the disease and stop the progression.
What is Gum Disease?
As mentioned above, gum disease is a bacterial infection. It begins when plaque—a soft, sticky biofilm that contains millions of bacteria—builds up on teeth and along the gum line. If not removed with regular brushing and flossing or a professional dental cleaning from the dentist in Totowa, this substance hardens and becomes what is called tartar or calculus. Only a deep cleaning from you dental hygienist can remove calculus.
The Stages of Gum Disease
During one of your regularly scheduled dental checkups, our hygienists routinely use a periodontal probe to measure the depth of gum pockets around and in between your teeth. Healthy pockets are no more than three millimeters deep; anything greater can be a sign of gum disease.
There are three stages of gum disease:
- Gingivitis, which is marked by red and swollen gums that tend to bleed when probed or flossed
- Periodontitis, which is characterized by bleeding gums, deep periodontal pockets that may be filled with pus and the beginning of bone loss underneath gum tissue
- Advanced Periodontitis, marked by severe destruction of gum, bone and connective tissue
If left untreated, advanced periodontitis can make tooth extraction inevitable.
The Health Consequences of Gum Disease
Aside from the havoc that periodontal disease wreaks in your mouth, there can be ramifications to your general health, too. Called the oral-systemic connection, gum disease has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pneumonia, and low birth weight among newborn infants.
Treating Gum Disease in Totowa
Although gum disease is not curable, your dentist in Totowa can treat this bacterial infection with various types of periodontal therapy. If caught early, then gum disease can be arrested with a more stringent routine of brushing and flossing at home. The more advanced forms of gum disease are treated in our Totowa dentist office with a deep cleaning called scaling and root planing.
Call Our Office Today
If you’ve noticed that your gums are swollen and bleed when you brush or floss, then contact Comprehensive Dental for the treatment of gum disease in Totowa, NJ.