Periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, is a common oral health condition affecting millions worldwide. An inflammatory disease that primarily affects the gums and can lead to severe dental problems if left untreated. Knowing the signs, causes, symptoms, and available treatment options is essential to ensure healthy teeth and gums throughout life. This is even more important if gum disease runs in your family history.
Common Causes of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is typically caused by the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth, in areas between the teeth, the roof and mouth floor, etc. When plaque, an adhesive film of bacteria, builds up on the teeth and can harden into tartar if not removed through regular oral hygiene like brushing and flossing. The mouth is moist and wet, so tartar provides a conducive environment for bacteria to thrive, leading to gum inflammation, infection, sensitivity, and pain. Several risk factors contribute to the development of periodontal disease, including poor oral hygiene, smoking, hormonal changes, certain medications, genetic predisposition, and systemic health conditions such as diabetes.
Common Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Recognizing the symptoms of periodontal disease is crucial for early detection and prompt treatment. If you are experiencing any of these, there is a good chance you have the beginning or some stage of gum disease. Common signs include red, swollen, or tender gums, bleeding during brushing or flossing, persistent bad breath, receding gums, loose or sensitive teeth & gums, and the formation of deep pockets between the gums and teeth. In advanced stages, periodontal disease can cause tooth loss and even affect the underlying bone structure, where the decay reaches into the jawbone structure of a patient and deteriorates it.
Dentist Treatments for Periodontal Disease
Controlling infection, halting disease progression, and restoring gum and dental health is your dentist’s goal. The specific treatment approach depends on the severity of the disease. Professional dental cleaning, known as scaling and root planning, is often sufficient for mild cases. This process involves removing tartar and bacteria from the tooth surfaces and smoothing the root surfaces to prevent further plaque buildup. This is why going to the dentist regularly is essential. The treatment is much easier and less invasive with a mild case of gum disease, but you need to treat it quickly before it deteriorates further.
In more advanced stages, surgical interventions may be required when the first line of treatment is insufficient. These include flap surgery, where the gums get lifted to access and clean deep pockets, and bone grafting, which aims to regenerate lost bone tissue. In some cases, antibiotics or antimicrobial mouth rinses may be prescribed to control bacterial infection to be used on a short-term basis.
Gum Disease Prevention and Maintenance
Preventing periodontal disease starts with practicing good oral hygiene habits at home, and you’re dentist can’t do this for you. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice daily, flossing every day, and using antimicrobial mouth rinses with or without alcohol (most dentists recommend an alcohol-free mouth rinse). Regular dental check-ups are vital to detect any signs of gum disease early on. Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy diet can also help reduce the risk of periodontal disease. Or reducing your consumption of high-sugar and acid foods like alcohol and processed sugars.
Why It Matters
Periodontal disease is a prevalent condition that can have severe implications for oral health if left untreated. Individuals can maintain healthy gums and teeth by understanding the causes, recognizing the symptoms, and following preventive measures. Regular dental care and early intervention are crucial in effectively managing and treating periodontal disease.
For the best Southern Brooklyn NY Periodontist Treatment, look no further than right here at Coney Island Dental. We’ve proudly served the neighborhood for over 40 years and see over 4,000 patients yearly. Today, let us care for your teeth and gums and see the difference a great dentist can make.