Everything You Need To Know About Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease or gum disease, as it’s more commonly known, is an infection of the gums. When left untreated, it can lead to severe complications. Thankfully, there are several ways that you can prevent and treat gum disease. If you suspect you have periodontal disease, keep reading and we’ll tell you what to do.

What Do I Need to Know About Periodontal Disease?

Gum disease is the common name for periodontal disease. It can be as minor as mild gum inflammation, but can develop into more serious consequences, such as loosening of the gums or even loss of teeth.

It’s caused by the bacteria that gathers in your mouth. If the bacteria is left to harden and build up, a sticky layer of plaque covers the teeth. This is known as gingivitis. Plaque and discoloration is visible at this stage, but the damage has not spread deep into the gum tissue yet.

If not treated, gingivitis will develop into periodontitis. The infected gums will separate from the teeth, forming pockets where more bacteria can build up. This results in inflammation, pain, discomfort and/or a feverish infection. When left untreated for too long, the gums and bones in the mouth will decay, and the teeth will eventually fall out.

Common symptoms of gum disease include:

– Constantly bleeding gums

– Swollen or reddened gums

– Gaps between the gums and the teeth

– Loose teeth (during adulthood)

– Pain/soreness in the teeth or gums

– Constant bad breath or bad taste

How Do I Prevent Periodontal Disease?

 There are a three simple steps that everyone can take to prevent periodontal disease:

  1. Brush your teeth daily. Daily oral hygiene is your best defense against infection. You can also gently brush your gums to keep them clean. Make sure to brush at the gum-line.
  2. Regularly floss your teeth. Plaque and tartar builds up in the gaps and pockets between your teeth and gums. If you can’t or don’t want to use dental floss because of dexterity limitations, skin conditions, or concerns over the plastic and non-organic materials, use organic floss or a water flosser.
  3. Get deep cleanings from your dentist every 6 months. Only a dentist or dental hygienist can completely remove plaque from your teeth.

What Can Be Done About Periodontal Disease?

If you suspect that you have periodontal disease, contact your dentist immediately. The sooner you catch potential gum disease, the more that can be done to help.

Catch periodontal disease early enough and you can clear up the infection with a deep cleaning and some antibiotics. If you wait too long, you may be looking at a root canal or other surgical procedure to fix your gums.

Having periodontal disease doesn’t guarantee you will lose your teeth. Prevent it by taking care of your mouth with regular brushing and flossing, and seeing your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. Keep your smile healthy!

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