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Gum Disease

Gum disease is a serious inflammatory process that affects the gums and teeth of a patient's smile. It is said that some 80% of adults have local gingivitis, and approximately 60% of Americans have periodontitis or bone loss occurring. These statistics are staggering, and raise concern for the overall dental health of our communities.

Periodontal Treatment | Madsen and Hirsch Dental Care | Madison, WI Dentists

Gum disease has various stages:

Gingivitis
The first stage is called gingivitis, and it is the inflammation of gum tissues. Gum tissues become inflamed and swollen, and can bleed during brushing and flossing.

Periodontitis
Bone begins to deteriorate and become less dense, while gums start to shrink and pull away from the teeth. Pockets begin to form between the teeth and gums, and are the perfect place for plaque and bacteria to continue to collect.

Advanced Periodontitis
Once gum disease has progressed to this stage, it becomes extremely severe. This is when teeth movement may start to occur, and bone density fails to keep the teeth in place. This results in the loss of natural teeth as they are no longer able to stay rooted into the gums and bone.

Other than the loss and destruction of the bones, gums, and teeth, gum disease has other implications. Studies have shown that the infection and inflammation that occurs in the mouth can be indications of increased risk for other medical problems such as strokes, heart attacks, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. Bacteria that forms in the mouth enters into the blood stream and can affect the tissues of the heart and blood vessels, causing cardiac problems and strokes. For those interested in preventing heart disease and stroke, improving dental health is one way to rid the body of inflammation.

Warning signs of gum disease include:

  • Bleeding
  • Swelling of the gums
  • Pain
  • Teeth movement
  • Mobile teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Puss

Gum disease can be reversed as long as it is diagnosed and treated early. Additionally, preventative care may keep gum disease from reoccurring, or occurring at all. This is why Drs. Madsen and Hirsch stress the importance of brushing, flossing, and maintaining regular check-up appointments and professional cleanings to help avoid the development and progression of gum disease.