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Periodontal Disease

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Nearly 80 percent of the adult population develops gum infections. Two types of gum infections exist: a milder form called gingivitis and an advanced form known as periodontal disease. Signs of gingivitis include red, swollen, bleeding gums. Periodontal diseases exist when bacterial infections affect not only the gums but also the bone that support teeth.

Types of Periodontal Diseases

Periodontal disease presents itself in two forms: gingivitis and periodontitis. Long-term effects of lingering plaque deposits cause gingivitis. Plaque, a sticky material made of bacteria, mucus, and food debris, develops on the exposed parts of the teeth. It causes tooth decay. If you do not remove plaque, it turns into a hard deposit called tartar that settles at the base of the tooth. Plaque and tartar can cause receding gums or inflamed gums. Bacteria and the toxins they produce cause the gums to become infected, swollen, and tender.

periodontal-disease

Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease and causes usually little or no discomfort at this stage. You can reverse gingivitis with professional treatment and good dental care at home by regular brushing and flossing, but if you allow gingivitis to persist, it can progress to periodontitis, an irreversible, chronic infection in the pockets surrounding the teeth. The resulting inflammation can damage the attachment of the gums and bone, often resulting in tooth loss.

Causes of Periodontal Disease

In addition to overall poor dental care and lack of regularly scheduled dental check ups, the following factors contribute to periodontal disease:

  • Pregnancy
  • Crooked teeth
  • Diabetes
  • Bridge work that no longer fits properly
  • Certain medications
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco

Signs of Periodontal Disease

  • Gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing
  • Inflamed gums: red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Receding gums: gums that have pulled away from your teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Pus between your tooth and gums
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures

Treating Periodontal Disease

At your regularly schedule dental checkup, Titensor Dental screens for any signs of periodontal disease, including receding gums or inflamed gums. Early detection of periodontal disease allows Dr. Titensor or his hygienist to begin conservative treatment to reverse the disease. The treatment may include scaling, root planing, Arestin antibiotic therapy, and irrigation, and in the case of severe periodontal disease, more advanced treatments may be required.

How to Prevent Periodontal Disease?

In addition to possible tooth loss associated with receding gums and inflamed gums, research suggest a possible link can occur between periodontal disease and other health issues such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and strokes. Therefore, you want to keep good oral health practices by scheduling regular dental checkups. At home, remember brushing and flossing regularly and eating a balanced diet keeps your smile healthy.

See also: Correcting Receding Gums with Pinhole Surgical Technique

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