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Gingivitis and periodontitis are forms of gum disease – an incredibly (possibly surprisingly) common affliction. According to the CDC, more than 47% of adults over the age of 30 suffer from some form of this condition.
So, if you experience gingival (gum) inflammation, pain, redness, recession, tenderness, or any other complication or sign of discomfort, please contact us today at R. Asher Henegar, D.D.S., P.A. in Colorado Springs, CO. The course of treatment varies, though one thing is certain: the quicker you consult with vastly experienced Dr. Asher Henegar, the better your dental outcome will be.
One of the main attributes of gingivitis, the milder form of gum disease, is that it advances gradually with little sign. This is also one of its most dangerous characteristics because many people don’t even realize they have it until it worsens and causes damage (that could have been prevented) to various oral tissues, including the teeth, gums, and even jawbone.
Here’s how it starts: bacteria accumulate in the mouth, feeding on sugars and other substances stuck to the teeth. As bacterial populations increase, they envelop the teeth in a sticky invisible coating: plaque. Plaque builds up and eventually hardens into tartar, worsening the inflammation and infection throughout the gums. The encroaching tartar (and associated inflammation and infection) causes the gums to recede.
This opens up even more dental real estate for the opportunistic bacteria, who work their way down toward the jawbone. If left to their own devices, they continue colonizing deeper into the mouth, eventually attacking the fibers that secure the teeth in place and potentially necessitating one or multiple extractions. At this point, the damage may spread to the jawbone and become even harder to correct.
If detected early, during the milder gingivitis phase, the treatments are much simpler, more convenient, and less time-consuming. You may simply require an in-office cleaning, followed by a more concerted at-home cleaning effort to thwart gingivitis. But as periodontitis develops, winning back your dental health may necessitate a scaling and root planing (SRP) procedure. During SRP, we remove tartar from your teeth and smooth their lower surfaces, so the gums can safely reattach and take up their former positions. But if you allow periodontitis to reach a severe stage, you may need to undergo surgery or bone grafting. Therefore, proper and routine oral hygiene is vital to maintaining your well-being and avoiding a complicated procedure later.
Gum disease is a surprisingly sneaky, potentially damaging condition that affects millions. But you don’t have to be one of them, as a solution may be simpler and less painful than you realize. Pre-emptive detection is crucial, however, so for your best chance at an optimal oral outcome, reach out to us as soon as possible at R. Asher Henegar, D.D.S., P.A. in Colorado Springs, CO. Dr. Asher Henegar has helped countless individuals achieve optimal oral health and would love to do the same for you.