Periodontal Disease Treatment
Periodontal or gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is a leading cause of tooth loss in American adults. Plaque is the sticky film of bacteria that is brushed and flossed away with proper oral care. When left on the teeth, plaque produces toxins that attack below the gum line in the sulcus, a shallow v-shaped crevice between the tooth and gums. This causes the bond between teeth and gums to break down.
Are there different kinds of gum disease?
Yes. In the early stage of gum disease (gingivitis), gums may become red and swollen and bleed easily; in the more advanced stage (periodontal disease), teeth can loosen and even fall out. Good oral hygiene and regular dental examinations are essential in prevention and early detection of gum disease – especially since you can have it without experiencing any warning signs.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
Signs that you may have gum disease include:
- Gums that are red, swollen, tender, bleed easily or have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Loose or separating teeth
- A change in the way your teeth fit together
- A change in the fit of partial dentures
But be warned – sometimes there are no warning signs! Proper dental hygiene and regular visits to the dentist are very important.
Am I at risk for gum disease?
Your risk of developing gum disease may relate to the following habits and conditions:
- Tobacco smoking or chewing
- Systemic diseases such as diabetes
- Medications such as steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs and calcium channel blockers
- Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives
- Crooked teeth
- Worn bridges or fillings
As its name suggests, preventive dentistry is intended to prevent dental problems and related health conditions before they start. The health of your mouth is vital to the health of your entire body. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, low birth weight and other health problems. Healthy teeth are less likely to need extensive and pricey dental procedures. You can keep your teeth and yourself healthy by brushing and flossing every day as well as getting regular dental exams.