4 Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common infection that affects the gum tissue. It’s so common, in fact, that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nearly half of Americans over the age of 30 have some form of the disease. In the early stages, gum disease can often be treated successfully by your dentist in Douglasville. However, if the disease progresses, it could mean serious trouble.
Stage 1: Gingivitis
The least severe stage of gum disease is gingivitis. During this stage, the infection only affects the gum tissue, and treatment can help reverse the disease.
Stage 2: Early Periodontitis
If gingivitis isn’t treated it can progress into the initial stages of periodontitis. When this happens, the infection starts to spread into the areas where tissues connect teeth to bone.
Stage 3: Mild Periodontitis
Following early periodontitis is mild or moderate periodontitis. It’s during this stage when a patient can experience significant bone loss.
Stage 4: Advanced Periodontitis
The most severe case of gum disease is advanced periodontitis where there is more than 50% bone loss.
Signs of Gum Disease
Signs and symptoms of gum disease can vary depending on the stage of infection and can range from:
- Bleeding gums
- Red, swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Tooth sensitivity
- Loose teeth
If you’re experiencing any signs of gum disease, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your dentist in Douglasville.
How is Gum Disease Treated?
There are a number of ways that your dentist can treat gum disease. Again, it depends on each individual situation. Some of the common treatments for gum disease include:
- Deep Cleaning – A deep cleaning will clean up under the gum line and not just above it like a traditional dental cleaning. This can help remove the infection at the source.
- Antibiotics – Just like when you’re sick, taking antibiotics for gum disease can help fight off bacteria and the infection.
- Surgery – In more serious cases, your dentist may recommend gum surgery such as a gum graft.
How to Lower Your Risk of Gum Disease
The best way to ensure your gums stay healthy is to brush and floss twice daily. Getting into this habit will help remove plaque buildup. Allowing plaque to accumulate on the teeth is what ultimately leads to gum disease in the first place. There are also other ways you can lower your risk of gum disease.
- Stop smoking or using tobacco products
- Replace your toothbrush often – no toothbrush should be used for longer than 3 months
- See your dentist in Douglasville at least twice a year
Don’t let gum disease affect your oral health or your teeth. Keep your biannual dental appointments for regular preventive care so your dentist can detect and treat any problems early.
Do I Have a Sinus Infection or a Toothache?
Sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection, can have similar symptoms to a toothache, and you may be wondering which may be affecting you. The good news is that your dentist in Douglasville knows the difference between the tell-tale signs of a toothache versus those of a sinus infection. Let’s take a look at the similarities and differences.
Symptoms of Both a Sinus Infection & a Toothache
Sinus infections can cause tooth pain, although a tooth may not be the underlying problem. Knowing the difference between a sinus infection and a toothache can help you get the proper help you need to relieve discomfort. First, the common signs that are apparent in both a sinus infection and a toothache include:
- Bad Breath
- Tooth Pain
It may be difficult to understand where these symptoms are originating from, so now let’s look at the difference between a toothache that’s caused by a sinus problem and one caused by a dental problem.
The Difference Between a Toothache & Sinus Pain
Any type of pain is uncomfortable, but your dentist in Douglasville knows that tooth pain has a unique feeling and can cause alarm. It’s incredibly common for patients to not know the difference between actual tooth pain and tooth pain that’s caused by a sinus infection.
Sinus Infection Symptoms
- Pain in the top molars
- Tooth pain that gets worse when bending over
- Pain that spreads to several teeth
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Postnasal drip
While toothaches can have some of the symptoms of a sinus infection, there are some key differences:
- Sensitivity to hot and cold
- Painful or swollen gums
- Pain when chewing
- Isolated pain in certain teeth
The Sinus Cavity
Why can a sinus infection cause tooth pain in the first place? Well, it all comes back to anatomy. The sinus cavity is located around the forehead behind the eyes as well as on the sides of the nose, and tooth roots of some teeth are really close to the area. This is why when the sinus cavity becomes inflamed as a result of infection it can be felt in the teeth.
Can a Sinus Infection Cause Pain in Other Teeth Other Than the Molars?
It’s unlikely that a sinus infection will cause pain in other teeth other than the top back molars. Since the roots of the top back teeth are close to the sinus cavity, pain during a sinus infection is most likely to occur in this area. A toothache in the front teeth or lower teeth may be a clear sign of a dental problem and should be checked by your dentist in Douglasville. If you’re experiencing jaw pain, it’s also wise to see your dentist. This discomfort can be attributed to many things, including a sinus infection, tooth troubles, or a misaligned bite.
Long story short, any type of tooth pain should be looked at by your dentist. If they determine the cause isn’t related to something happening in your mouth, they may refer you to another type of doctor to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.