Periodontal Disease: More Than a Mouthful
Periodontal or gum disease is an infection that causes bleeding, red, and swollen gums. Have you ever experienced bleeding gums? You probably have and didn’t think much of it. The reality is that periodontal disease is a significant cause of tooth loss in adults, but teens need to start thinking about oral health now. You are not immune!
It’s a significant cause of tooth loss because the periodontal disease develops slowly and is usually painless. Many people are not even aware that an infection exists. Bleedings gum are not exactly ordinary and should not be ignored. You should visit your dentist Meadowbank if you experience such symptoms.
Periodontal disease can lead to serious oral health problems that can even affect your general health. Learning the causes and symptoms of periodontal disease, and most importantly, how to prevent gum disease can help decrease your risk of infection down the line.
What causes periodontal disease?
There is a small space where your gums attach to your teeth called a sulcus. When food and plaque get trapped in the sulcus, it can cause an infection of the gums or gingivitis. At this point, the infection is found only in the gums, which causes them to bleed and become red and inflamed.
Gingivitis, the early stage of periodontal disease, is reversible if detected early on, but the infection can spread to surrounding tissue and bone that support your teeth if left untreated. The uncontrollable spread of bacteria can spread below the gum line causing periodontal disease.
How is periodontal disease treated?
At your dental visit, your dentist will examine your gums to check for inflammation. A small probe is used to check for and measure any pockets or spaces around the teeth. Your dentist will inquire about your medical and family history to identify any risk factors such as smoking or diabetes that can contribute to periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease may require extensive treatment such as scaling or deep cleaning of the tooth-root surfaces below the gums and medications prescribed to take orally. In more severe cases, periodontal gum surgery, gum graft surgery, and extraction can occur.
Knowing the warning signs of periodontal disease can save you both time and money. The CDC suggests watching out for the following symptoms:
- Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth that won’t go away
- Inflammed gums
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Gums that have pulled away from teeth
- Change in bite or fit of partial dentures
How can I prevent periodontal disease?
Good oral health can help reduce your risk of developing gingivitis or periodontal disease. Your oral hygiene practices should include:
- Brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing every day to remove bacteria that cause periodontal disease
- Eating a balanced diet
- Visiting the dentist regularly for checkups and more frequently if you show warning signs of periodontal disease
The next time you experience bleeding or tender gums, don’t ignore it. Visit the dentists as soon as you can so that you can prevent damage to your gums and teeth and avoid unnecessary medical trips and expenses.