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Long-term Damage Caused by Gum Disease

November 5, 2014

Filed under: Reston Dentistry — Tags: , , — tntadmin @ 8:06 pm

An older woman smilingPatients in the greater Reston area can rely on Dr. Wayne Myles for their diverse dental care needs. For years, Dr. Myles has been offering comprehensive dentistry, using the latest in general and restorative care to improve the health of the teeth as well as advanced periodontal treatment to improve gum health.

Since many patients take the health of their gums for granted, we would like to take a basic look at the long-term health problems linked to gum disease.

Knowing the Stages of Gum Disease

There are three stages of gum disease. Listed from least severe to most severe:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

At each stage, the symptoms become more pronounced and the infection of the gums becomes much worse.

The Longer It Goes Untreated, the Worse it Gets

Some of the early symptoms of gingivitis include bleeding gums, swollen gums, and soreness of the gums. Left untreated and allowed to progress to later stages of gum disease, patients are bound to experience much more serious and unpleasant side effects. These can lead to a number of long-term dental health problems.

Severe Gum Recession

Gum recession refers to the loss of gum tissue along the gumline. When this occurs, more of the tooth's root structure is exposed. This can make the teeth very sensitive to hot of cold foods and beverages. It can also lead to another serious problem.

Tooth Decay Below the Gumline

With more of the tooth structure exposed, the bacteria in the mouth that causes gum disease and tooth decay can get below the gumline and cause cavities. Cavities down there below the gumline are difficult to treat simply given that they are partially concealed.

Gradual Tooth Misalignment

As your gums recede and become less healthy, your teeth become more likely to shift out of place. This begins as very subtle, with small gaps and spacing issues occurring, but it can become extremely pronounced over time.

Increased Chance of Root Canal Infection

With more tooth decay in hard-to-access places, that means greater risk of root canal infection. This means the bacteria has entered the internal chamber of the tooth and has begun harming the dental pulp within.

Increased Chance of Tooth Loss

As teeth become loose and decay, they are more likely to fall out. Yes, gum disease doesn't seem like it will lead to tooth loss, but is you neglect getting the care you need, you can lose your teeth as a result of serious gum disease.

Get the Advanced Dental Care Treatment You Need

Treatments for gum disease come in many forms depending on the stage and severity of the problem. In general, the best treatments will fist involve getting the infection under control. This can be done with a combination of antibiotics and antiseptic rinses.

Once the infection is being dealt with, your dentist will then work on repairing and restoring your teeth and gums as best as possible. The gumline can be restored through grafting techniques, and various dental restorations can prove ideal for addressing gum disease and other tooth damage.

Schedule a Consultation for Dental Care Treatment

If you would like more information about gum disease, periodontal health, and other topics related to overall dental wellness, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Myles and his entire team look forward to your visit and helping you get the smile that you have always wanted to have.

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