Understanding the Types of Gum Disease

Chronic inflammation sounds terrible, right? Your body has to waste its energy trying to fight off an invader, affecting the rest of your health. No one wants any body part to be inflamed for months on end. Yet many people are willing to make an exception for their gums. Gum bleeding or soreness after brushing is often brushed off. 

At Love Dental Studio, our periodontal dentist wants you to understand the types of gum disease and the very real risks. Appreciating this area of your health can protect not only your gums but also the rest of your body. 

Gum Disease 101

It all starts with plaque, a sticky, bacteria-laden film that loves to set up shop on your teeth. This is why you brush your teeth—to keep your mouth bacteria-free. Ignore this step, and plaque turns into tartar, a harder substance that’s tough to remove. As the Mayo Clinic reports, the bacteria in plaque and tartar causes gum inflammation, penetrating the grooves of your teeth under the gumline. 

Why does this matter? Gum disease is linked with heart disease, diabetes, and even respiratory issues. In other words, chronic inflammation may be a real troublemaker throughout your body.

Gum Disease Part I: Gingivitis

The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis, is a nuisance that could turn villainous if ignored. You have this type of gum disease if your gums are:

  • Swollen and puffy
  • Red or dark
  • Sore or sensitive
  • Bleeding when brushed

You might be tempted to shrug this off or, worse, avoid flossing or brushing because it’s uncomfortable. But this is your mouth’s cry for help. That help is available at Love Dental Studio. Our Washington, D.C., dental office provides deep dental cleanings that get below the gumline to clean out pockets of bacteria. 

Gum Disease Part II: Periodontitis

Ignore gingivitis, and you get the sequel: periodontitis. This is where your teeth’s support system starts to crumble, causing your gums to retreat and form pockets of infection. It can lead to a toothless grin if not tackled. Signs include:

  • Dark red or purple gums
  • More bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • Chronic or worsening bad breath
  • Pain when chewing
  • Receding gums and teeth that look longer
  • Loose teeth or lost teeth
  • Lost bone density

Even this type of gum disease doesn’t mean your oral health is a lost cause. Periodontitis does require more extensive care, but we can provide it. Bone grafting, as well as restorative dentistry services can replace bone and tooth loss.

Dodging the Gum Disease Bullet

Plot twist: the real challenge isn’t gum disease itself. It’s poor brushing habits, smoking, sweets, and even your genes. The hero is your hygiene habits. Flossing, using mouthwash, and brushing twice a day, plus regular dental visits, can keep the bad guys at bay. Rather than any complicated solutions, all you need for a gum-disease-free life is to stick to dental care basics. 

Get a Personal Understanding and Hold On Gum Disease

If you’re ready to show your gums more appreciation, schedule an appointment at Love Dental Studio. We can assess your gum health, determine if you show signs of inflammation, and plan a treatment just for you. Contact us today!