Dakota Regional Periodontics’ dental faq: How can periodontal disease damage my health?
Periodontal disease is an affliction that affects the gums. It can be serious, damaging the soft tissue of your gums and if left untreated, can destroy your tooth’s supportive bone as well. Eventually, it can lead to tooth loss. While it can seem worrying, it is preventable so it’s important that you understand just how to deal with it. So, here is everything you need to know about periodontal disease and how it affects your health.
The following are signs of periodontal disease:
- Swollen or puffy gums
- Bright red, dusky red or purplish gums
- Gums that feel tender when touched
- Gums that bleed easily
- Pink-tinged toothbrush after brushing
- Spitting out blood when brushing or flossing your teeth
- Bad breath
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Loose teeth or loss of teeth
- Painful chewing
- New spaces developing between your teeth
- Gums that pull away from your teeth (recede), making your teeth look longer than normal
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
Additionally, gingivitis is a somewhat lesser gum disease which does not always develop into periodontal disease but it is always a precursor to it.
Periodontis often develops from plaque that has gone untreated. First, the plaque forms on your teeth when the starches in your food interact with the bacteria in your mouth. The plaque then hardens in your mouth and becomes tartar. The plaque can then cause mild gum disease in the form of gingivitis. If left untreated, this can then evolve to become periodontitis, causing pockets to appear between your gums and teeth and be filled with bacteria.
When you visit your dentist, they can run a number of tests to determine if you are suffering from periodontal disease. They can check for signs of inflammation in the gums as well as probe for pockets around the teeth. Your doctor may even use an x-ray to capture any bone loss.
There are a number of surgical and non-surgical treatment options that a periodontist can use.
The non-surgical options include scaling to remove the plaque and tartar, root planing which smooths over the root surfaces making further tartar buildup less likely. Finally, antibiotics will help control the bacterial infection.
In cases of advanced periodontitis you may need surgery to treat the disease. Options include soft tissue grafts, bone grafts, gum tissue removal and guided tissue regeneration.
Above all, prevention may prove to be the best way to deal with periodontal disease. Regular brushing and oral care will keep plaque away and visits to your dentist will ensure you catch any early signs.
Periodontal disease can be worrying, but it’s important to recognise that it is both preventable and treatable, as long as you are proactive and involve your dentist. Dakota Perio are a premier Dakota periodontics practice with enormous experience with periodontal disease care.
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