A Beginner’s Guide to Periodontal Disease

dentistOur teeth and gums are mighty warriors of our body. After all, without them we wouldn’t be able to chew, speak properly, or smile big! But unfortunately, our teeth and gums can be susceptible to a lot of different problems and diseases, most notably periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is an extremely common gum issue that can not only cause discomfort but tooth loss if it goes untreated. Here is everything you need to know about this type of disease and how you can prevent it from happening to you.

What causes periodontal disease?
Our mouths are full of bacteria, and if we forgo brushing and flossing regularly, this bacteria can build up and wear away at teeth and gums. One of the first signs of periodontal disease is gingivitis, which occurs when the plaque and bacteria in your mouth lead to gum inflammation. When this happens the gums can look red, tender, and can possibly bleed. The next step after gingivitis is periodontitis, which is when the gums are so inflamed they pull away from the teeth and become extremely infected.

Are there different risk factors for periodontal disease?
Yes, there are plenty and they include:

  • Not visiting your dentist for bi-annual cleanings and checkup.
  • Smoking and using chewing tobacco.
  • Hormonal changes in girls and pre-menopausal women.
  • Having diabetes.
  • Medications that can cause dry mouth and reduce the flow of salivia.

What are some signs that mean I could be suffering from periodontal disease?
While every single patient differs, our dentists explain that some common symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Bad breath that is either unexplained or won’t go away.
  • Red and swollen gums.
  • Excessive bleeding when brushing your teeth.
  • Tender-to-the-touch teeth and gums.
  • Pain when chewing, or when eating hot and/or cold foods.
  • Receding gums or teeth that look longer than the others.

If you notice any or all of these symptoms, don’t hesistate to call up your family dentist today for an apointment to figure out a solution to your problem.

Considering the fact that periodontal disease increases with age, and that 70.1% of adults over 65 years and older suffer from this, it is crucial you stay on top of your oral hygiene so your teeth are the best they can be. If you have any questions about how you can prevent periodontal disease from happening to you, make sure to call our Fitchburg dentists right away!