Understanding Periodontal Disease

Gum health is one of those things that may not seem as important as cavities or how white your teeth look. However, the health of your gums has a direct impact on your oral health. Periodontal disease can sneak up on you if you are not careful. Find out why periodontal disease can be so harmful and the signs to watch for.

What is Periodontal Disease? 

Bacteria is the main culprit in many mouth issues and that is also the root cause of periodontal disease. Bacteria growth can be identified as plaque on the teeth. Once plaque forms and is not removed through brushing and regular professional cleaning, the damage begins. As bacteria invades your gums, infections can form. Some infections can be life-threatening for those with immune system issues.

The sooner you take care of the periodontal disease, the less damage is done. That is why it's important to visit your dentist regularly and observe the below signs of issues. In some cases, patients may not notice anything about their teeth, but your dental hygienist certainly will.

Treatment for Periodontal Disease

The treatment depends on the progression of the disease. Your dentist might prescribe these treatments:

  • Antibiotics – This first-line treatment will help clear up infections.
  • Scaling – This removes tartar from your teeth. Your hygienist may use instruments, an ultrasonic device, or a laser device.
  • Root planning – This involves smoothing out the roots, so they become more resistant to bacteria.

Some Are More Vulnerable

Certain categories of people end up with more periodontal diseases than others. Those who smoke get more periodontal diseases as do those that don't get regular dental care. Other factors include:

  • Diseases like diabetes and AIDS.
  • Family tendencies.
  • Medication and hormone treatments.
  • Dry mouth.

What Are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?

One of the frustrating things about periodontal disease is that some people don't show obvious symptoms at first. Here, however, are some signs that should have you calling your dentist right away:

  • Pain with chewing.
  • Red, swollen gums.
  • Bad breath.
  • Bleeding with brushing or flossing. You might notice redness on your brush or floss.
  • Teeth appear loose and can be wiggled around.
  • Sensitive teeth even when you never previously have issues with tooth sensitivity.
  • Abscesses. These are puss-filled lumps on your gums.
  • Gum infections. This can make you feel feverish and unwell even when you don't necessarily notice any pain in your gums.
  • Receding gums. This can cause your roots to be exposed and that is extremely painful.

To find out more, speak to your dentist.