What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease is the inflammation of both the gum tissue and bones surrounding your teeth. The first stage is gingivitis. The bacterial plaque of the teeth produces toxins that irritate the gum tissue, causing inflammation and bleeding. If left untreated, this could lead to a more serious condition called periodontitis.
When bacterial plaque turns into hard tartar that accumulates below your gum line, it can create pocketing between your teeth and gums. These pockets will then trap bacterial toxins that could later attack the bone and tissues supporting the teeth. If not properly treated, this could lead to tooth loss.
What are the risks of having Periodontal Disease?
There are certain risks that can influence the severity of gum disease. Awareness could help in prevention and treatment. Risks include the following:
- Diabetes – Volatile blood sugar levels limit diabetic individuals from improving their gum disease.
- Certain medications – Reduction of saliva flow can cause dry mouth and this could keep the bacteria on your tongue and gums from washing away. HIV or cancer can also hinder speedy healing from gum disease.
- Hormonal changes in women – Inflammation from gum disease is possible due to women’s hormonal fluctuations as well as pregnancy. Women are prone to gingivitis when they are pregnant, so regular check-ups are necessary. Otherwise, it could lead to periodontitis.
- Smoking – mouth dryness, bad breath, staining, permanent discoloration, hyperplasia…it’s all bad, so stop smoking!
- Heredity – Gum disease can also be hereditary. To avoid it ahead of time, it’s best to trace your family history and consult your dentist immediately.
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your dentist immediately.
- Swelling of gums leading to redness, or gums that have pulled away from your teeth.
- Tender or bleeding gums, especially when you brush and floss.
- Bad taste and bad breath that don’t seem curable.
- Painful or loose teeth.
- Painful teeth when you bite.
- The way your partials fit together doesn’t seem right.
How do I Prevent Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
Prevent gum disease by taking care of your oral health because your oral health is in your hands! Brushing your teeth twice per day and floss properly once per day are both part of good oral hygiene that prevents any harmful bacteria from causing dental problems. Always use a toothpaste and mouthwash to lessen bacteria in your mouth. Have a regular check-up with your dentist to ensure that any hard tartar is removed. If you don’t have a dentist yet, contact us now for a periodontal consultation!