Did you know that over 60 million American adults have mild, moderate, or severe periodontitis? Or that many studies have shown a strong correlation between gum disease and heart disease? Learn more about taking care of gum disease at its early stage, ensuring better health for the long haul.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontitis, also referred to as gum disease, is an inflammatory disease that affects the gums, caused by naturally occurring plaque and tartar in the mouth and other risk factors.
Gingivitis is the disease in its earliest stage. Gums will become inflamed, causing redness, swelling, and bleeding. If caught during gingivitis, the disease can usually be reversed dedicated brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings.
Periodontitis forms when gingivitis is not treated properly. At this point, the inflammation becomes worse, causing infected pockets to develop in areas surrounding the teeth. The infection, in tandem with the body’s reaction to fight it, can actually break down bone and tissue that holds teeth in place.
What are Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?
Your dentist will be the only one to determine whether you have it, but any of the following symptoms could be a sign of gum disease:
- Loose teeth
- Painful chewing
- Persistent bad breath
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
There are also several risk factors that can make people more prone to the disease, including age, diet, genetics, health history, medications, diabetes, or smoking.
How is Periodontal Disease treated?
A dental professional will have to remove the plaque with a deep-cleaning treatment which scrapes off tartar that surrounds the gum line. This process is also referred to as scaling and root planing. In addition to the treatment, dentists may recommend you use medication like prescription antimicrobial mouthwash, antibiotic gel, or oral antibiotics.
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