Did you know that an estimated 75% of Americans have some form of gum disease? With so many people affected, it may seem as though gum disease isn’t a big deal, but in reality, gum disease is linked with dangerous illnesses like heart disease, breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and stroke. If you notice any symptoms of gum disease, it’s important to see a dentist right away to prevent any more serious problems from occurring.
Dr. Jeff S. Luffey, DDS, is an Albuquerque dentist who provides gum disease treatment for children and adults. Whether you have mild or advanced gum disease, Dr. Luffey can halt the progression of the infection and protect you against tooth loss. To learn more about the stages of gum disease and the symptoms that accompany them, keep reading below.
STAGE #1: Gingivitis
The first gum disease stage is gingivitis, which is caused by plaque and bacteria buildup. This buildup causes your gums to become inflamed and swollen, giving you the first signs of gum disease: swollen gum tissue, bad breath and bleeding gums. You’ll also notice hardened plaque and tartar forming on your gum line.
TREATMENT: This form of gum disease is fairly easy to treat, but you have to see a dentist right away. Schedule a teeth cleaning with our Albuquerque dentist, and we’ll give you advice to keep your gums healthy at home. As you read on, you’ll notice that gum disease symptoms become more severe, so it’s important to get treatment right away even if your gingivitis seems mild.
STAGE #2: Periodontitis
The second stage of gum disease is what happens when you don’t treat gingivitis quickly. If your dentist tells you that you have periodontitis, it’s because the infection has spread to the deeper levels of your gum tissue. Gradually, you’ll begin to see periodontal pockets that form between the gums and the teeth. As the gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, more plaque and tarter will form in these pockets, threatening your jawbone. In this stage, you may also notice your gums begin to recede.
TREATMENT: Periodontitis requires scaling and root planing. As a dentist in Albuquerque, NM, Dr. Luffey provides scaling and root planing to treat gum disease. Scaling removes built-up plaque and tartar below the gum line using an ultrasonic tool, while root planing gently removes rough spots on your teeth and root where bacteria tends to accumulate. With proper at-home care, this scaling and root planing prevents the progression of gum disease. Without this treatment, you’ll develop more severe gum disease, leading to more serious problems, such as tooth loss.
STAGE #3: Advanced Periodontitis
The last stage of gum disease is the most severe and called advanced periodontitis by dentists. If you have advanced periodontitis, you will notice periodontal pocketing, receding gums and bone loss. The bone loss causes teeth to loosen, putting you at risk for tooth loss.
TREATMENT: If you suspect you have advanced periodontitis, contact our Albuquerque dentist to prevent tooth loss. With years of experience treating gum disease, Dr. Luffey can treat advanced periodontitis and address any tooth loss with restorative dental treatments, such as dentures and dental implants.
Sedation Dentistry for Gum Disease Treatment
Has dental anxiety, fear of pain or just going to the dentist putting you off from getting the gum disease treatment you need? Dr. Luffey offers sedation dentistry to help patients get treatment without discomfort. Sedation dentistry will help you feel relaxed and comfortable during your dentist’s appointment so you can get the treatment you need without fear or pain. Our Albuquerque dentist provides different levels of sedation to meet your needs—contact us to learn more.