Even for those with the healthiest habits, periodontal disease might become an issue at some point. Genetics, lifestyle habits, and dental hygiene can all affect your risk of getting periodontal disease. If you’ve been curious about this serious oral health problem, we have the answers to your questions.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is an umbrella term for any affliction of the gum tissue and the bones below the gumline. It its earliest forms, periodontal disease is called gingivitis and is characterized by mild inflammation and irritation of the gums. If allowed to progress, gingivitis will develop into periodontitis. This can lead to serious complications, including severe pain, infection, tooth loss, and irreversible damage to the jawbone.
Causes of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease begins with poor dental hygiene. Failing to brush, floss, and visit the dentist mean that the buildup of plaque and tartar can erode tooth enamel and cause irritation in the gums. As the gums become more and more inflamed, they begin to pull away from the teeth and form pockets. These pockets expose the teeth’s sensitive roots to bacteria, increasing your risk of sensitivity and infection. Gum disease can be worsened by several factors, such as malnutrition, tobacco, dehydration, uncontrolled blood sugar, overall body inflammation, and stress.
Signs & Symptoms
Gingivitis often begins with red, swollen, and irritated gums. You may also notice blood in the sink after brushing or flossing. As gum disease progresses, it negatively affects the tissues holding the teeth in place. Loose teeth, new spaces in between teeth, bad breath, and tooth pain may all be warning signs of severe periodontal disease and should be taken seriously.
Is Periodontal Disease Treatable?
The treatment for periodontal disease varies depending on its severity. Those with gingivitis should begin by seeing the dentist for a routine cleaning and examination. From there, we can assess how to modify your oral healthcare routine to reverse the signs of gum disease. Twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and regular rinsing with an alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash will be helpful. Patients with periodontitis may need more advanced treatment, such as planing, root scaling, and antibiotics. Surgery is a last resort, but may involve grafting of soft tissue or bone. But whatever the condition of your gums, we can help get you back to a healthy and pain-free smile.
Consult with Us About Your Gum Health
If you’re noticing any of the warning signs of gum disease, contact us today to schedule a checkup and cleaning. Problems with the gums will only worsen over time, so don’t delay! We look forward to helping you get your oral health back on track.