What You Need to Know About Periodontal Disease
Did you know that nearly half of adults over 30 have some form of periodontal disease? Periodontal disease is characterized by infection and inflammation of the gums and bone that support the teeth. Severity of periodontal disease varies. The early stages are known as gingivitis, when gums become red, swollen, and bleed easily. Periodontitis is more severe, causing the gums to pull away from the tooth, which can cause teeth to loosen and fall out. Periodontal disease is one of the most serious threats to your dental health. By understanding periodontal disease, you can take steps to prevent the disease before it starts.
Causes of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is caused by infection in the tissue surrounding the tooth. This infection results from a progression of poor dental care, beginning with plaque buildup. Plaque then hardens into tartar, which can build up below the gum line, causing inflammation and infection. Luckily, periodontal disease is rather easy to detect.
Symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Persistent bad breath
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Loose teeth
- Gums that have pulled away from the tooth
- Change in the fit of partials or dentures
There are many things that contribute to periodontal disease, some of which are preventable. If any of the below factors apply to you, consider addressing the issue to greatly reduce risk of periodontal disease.
Risk factors include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Old, defective fillings
- Bridges that no longer fit properly
- Crooked teeth
- Medications that cause dry mouth
Periodontal Disease and Systemic Diseases
Did you know there is a strong correlation between your dental health and other medical conditions? Inflammation and infection associated with periodontal disease affects systemic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, and cancer. If you already suffer from any of these diseases, it’s very important to maintain good oral health.
Prevention and Treatment for Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is largely preventable. Good oral hygiene and regular professional cleanings will practically eliminate your chances of periodontal disease.
Treatments for periodontal disease include both surgical and non-surgical options. Treatment varies depending on the severity of the individual case.
Treatments for periodontal disease include:
- Professional dental cleaning
- Scaling and root planing
- Bone and tissue grafts
- Guided tissue regeneration
- Bone surgery
- Non-invasive laser treatments
Periodontal disease is a common problem in adults today. By educating yourself about causes, symptoms, and preventative measures, you can greatly reduce your risk of periodontal disease. If you’re showing any symptoms, see your dentist as soon as possible.