What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is a set of inflammatory and invasive dental conditions affecting the orthodontal tissues which if not managed well, spreads into the bone and surrounding tissues, affecting the entire teeth structure. Otherwise known as periodontitis, gum disease or pyorrhea, periodontal disease is one of the most common dental disease affecting a large number of the populace.
Should you notice your gums bleeding after brushing or flossing, then this should get you worried. Bleeding gums are a clear indication of impending periodontal disease, and it will only be a matter of time before the disease manifests.
Causes of Periodontal Disease
The most common cause of the disease is bacteria residing in the mouth. The bacteria usually found in dental plaque is the known culprit when it comes to periodontal disease. The bacteria activate on the natural proteins found in the medium found in the mouth, triggering the destruction of the bone and surrounding gum structure. In fact, this process happens over time, and if unchecked, results in periodontal disease.
The other documented causes of the disease include; hormonal changes experienced in puberty, pregnancy or during menopause, conditions that make the immune system vulnerable, certain types of medications like anticonvulsants, poor habits like drinking and smoking, poor oral hygiene and a family history of dental illness.
Periodontal disease occurs over some time, and there are a series of events leading to the disease. The process leading to periodontal disease first starts with bacteria surrounding and invading the teeth structure, resulting in plaque. Over time, if not removed, the bacteria and plaque eat into the tooth structure and gum, resulting in gum inflammation also called gingivitis. It is during the inflammatory stage when the gum appears reddish, and teeth easily bleed when brushing or biting into food. At this stage, the teeth are still firmly held into the bone. Over a while, the bacteria break down into the root of the teeth and the bone structure and surrounding gums, resulting in periodontal disease.
Signs and Symptoms
Periodontal disease occurs over time. The most common symptoms include:
- Swollen, redness, and bleeding of gums, especially when brushing, flossing or biting food
- Gums that quickly move away or recede easily from the teeth structure
- Relentless bad breath from the mouth that occurs even after brushing the teeth
- Persistent bad taste in the mouth even without taking meals
- Visible discharge coming from the root of the teeth and gums
- Loose teeth that can quickly move
- Sensitive teeth to very hot or very cold foods or drinks.
- Changes in the structure of the teeth noticed with irregular placement and mismatch hen biting down.
Management and Prevention
From the causative factors of periodontal disease, it is easy to arrive at the preventive ways of the disease which include;
- Maintaining oral hygiene which involves routine brushing and flossing with a fluoride solution
- Regular visits to the dentist to check the status of your teeth and manage any condition detected before it progresses further
- Avoid bad habits like excessive drinking and smoking
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle to improve your immunity like eating a balanced diet
The goal in the management of the disease is to retain the original teeth and gum structure. The process involves reattachment of healthy and naturally appearing gums to the teeth structure. The management, usually depending on the stage of the disease, can be invasive, involving surgical procedures or medications that will limit the bacterial growth.
Prevent periodontal disease today. Schedule an exam and consultation to learn about your oral health and how to improve it. In fact, Unique Dental has several locations throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut. Click below to book your appointment today.