Have you ever experienced bleeding, sore, or tender gums? Periodontal disease is the inflammation and infection of the bone, ligaments, and gums surrounding your teeth. Read on to learn more about gum disease and how to prevent it so you can protect your oral health and overall wellness.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease (also known as periodontitis or gum disease) is a serious infection of the bone, gums, or ligaments surrounding and supporting the tooth. Without treatment, it can destroy the bone that supports the teeth, cause teeth to loosen, result in tooth loss or an array of other health issues.
According to the American Dental Association, gum diseases affect 47.2% of adults and are the main cause of tooth loss in adults. Periodontal disease can vary in severity and is a common but largely preventable condition.
Causes of periodontal disease
Gum disease usually happens as a result of poor oral hygiene. The uncontrolled bacteria in dental plaque produces toxins that cause periodontitis. If not removed, the plaque will spread below the gumline with toxins that can cause inflammation and infection in the gums and destroy the bones and tissues supporting your teeth.
Other factors that increase the risk of developing periodontal disease include:
- Crooked teeth that are not easy to keep clean
- Chewing or smoking tobacco
- Defective fillings
- Dry mouth
- Medications like certain oral contraceptives and calcium channel blockers, cancer therapy drugs, some anti-epilepsy drugs, and steroids.
Symptoms of periodontal disease
Periodontal disease is usually painless, so you may not know you have it. However, the following warning signs can signal a problem:
- Any slight change in how your teeth fit together when biting
- Persistent bad taste or bad breath
- Pus between your gums and teeth
- Red, purplish, tender, puffy, or swollen gums
- Painful chewing
- Bleeding gums or spitting out blood when flossing or brushing
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth or the development of new spaces between your teeth
If you suspect any sign of gum disease, see your dentist as soon as possible because the sooner you spot and treat it, the better. Gingivitis, the early stage of periodontal disease, occurs when only the gums are infected and become swollen, red, and bleed easily. If caught early enough, gingivitis is treatable, and its effects are reversible as a professional tooth cleaning can remove it.
How to prevent periodontal disease
Since the effects of severe stages of gum disease are not completely reversible, establishing a preventative care routine is important before it progresses.
To prevent or control gum diseases, you need to:
- Brush and floss your teeth daily and correctly to avoid plaque build-up and remove food particles and the bacteria that cause periodontal disease.
- Visit your dentist regularly for dental cleanings and examinations. Your dentist can help spot the problem early and recommend ways to treat and prevent the disease.
Your treatments may vary depending on your case severity if you have gum disease. Some of the treatments available for periodontitis include:
Scaling and root planing
This treatment option is most suitable for periodontitis’s early stages and may help restore your periodontal health. Scaling involves a dental cleaning procedure that eliminates tartar and plaque from your teeth both below and above your gum line. Root planing smoothes the teeth to remove rough spots that hold and trap bacteria and eliminate tartar and plaque from the root surfaces. As soon as your teeth are clean, the tissues around your teeth can begin to heal.
Periodontal gum surgery
Suppose a professional care routine and at-home oral hygiene cannot resolve the issue because you have deep periodontal pockets surrounding your teeth. In that case, you may need a pocket reduction procedure.
This procedure involves making incisions in your gums to access the roots for more effective root planing and scaling. Once the teeth are clean, the gum tissues can easily reattach to them.
Gum graft surgery
If you have receding gums due to gum disease, your dentist may recommend surgery to graft new tissue or reshape gums to cover the roots of exposed teeth. This can help protect you from bone loss, tooth decay, and further recession.
Regenerative procedures may be an option to reverse some of the damage caused by periodontitis, especially when it has destroyed the bone supporting your teeth. This procedure stimulates your body to regenerate lost tissue and bone. You may then be able to replace your lost teeth with dental implants when the adequate bone is present.
This involves removing your tooth when they cannot be saved due to the damage.
Other health implications caused by periodontal disease
Peridontitis can lead to some other health challenges, including:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory disease
- Premature birth
So don’t ignore the signs. Get it diagnosed and treated as soon as possible to preserve your overall health!
We can help!
If you notice any symptoms of gum disease and want to get it diagnosed and treated correctly and efficiently, then LandMark Dentistry is your go-to dental practice. We offer exceptional and affordable services like dental restoration and periodontal gum disease treatment in Charlotte, Matthews, Mallard Creek, and Wesley Chapel. Schedule a consultation with our office today to save your teeth and preserve your overall health.