The term periodontal disease encompasses a host of oral issues ranging from mild to severe.
How Does Periodontal Disease Start?
Periodontal disease begins with a bacterial film that lingers on the teeth. If it is not properly dealt through oral hygiene and dental intervention, it can progress into something far worse.
As plaque calcifies into tartar, it destroys the gums and causes them to recede and detach from the supporting bone. Eventually, tooth loss will result.
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
- Swollen gums that bleed frequently
- Receding gum line
- Tenderness and pain in the gums
- Loose teeth
- Formation of gaps between the teeth
- Pus pockets surrounding the teeth and gums
- Persistence of bad breath (halitosis)
If you exhibit any signs or symptoms, notify your dentist immediately. You may need to be referred to a periodontal specialist.
Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease
- Poor oral hygiene
- Certain prescription medications
- Hormonal shifts
Some risk factors can be controlled while others cannot. One of the absolute best things that you can do to stave off periodontal disease is to maintain regular dental visits. Good oral hygiene practice at home can go a long way, but even the most meticulous routine may leave room for periodontal disease to sneak in, and symptoms are not always obvious at first.
Effects of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease has far reaching effects even beyond your teeth. It has been linked to cardiovascular disease, low birth weight in babies and difficulty controlling blood sugar levels among diabetics.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
Treatment methods will vary from person to person, but ultimately the goal is for you to control plaque formation at home complemented by regular visits to your dentist. A deep cleaning combined with scaling and root planing may be necessary to get you back on track.
How to Prevent Periodontal Disease
Daily oral hygiene is essential to fighting periodontal disease. This involves brushing, flossing and using an anti-plaque rinse. Keep up with dental appointments and exams. Eat a whole food diet that is low in sugar and refined carbohydrates. Avoid sodas and tobacco.