Periodontal Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Periodontal disease is one of the most common and dangerous dental conditions. A huge number of people suffer from some form of it. The severity of the disease varies greatly, and in some cases, it can damage the soft tissues in the gums so badly that the patient will lose their teeth completely.

Gum disease starts with poor oral hygiene and gingivitis. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, the plaque of bacteria and mucus that covers them turns into ‘tartar’ that can be removed by professional dental cleaning only. This hardened shell of bacteria can cause gum inflammation (gingivitis), which is a mild form of periodontal disease.

Maintaining proper oral hygiene can effectively solve this problem and reverse the damage. However, if it’s not treated in time, gingivitis turns into periodontitis. This condition causes your gums to pull away from the teeth, forming ‘pockets’ that get infected and inflamed. This allows the plaque to grow below the gum line. As a result of this, your body releases bacterial toxins (a natural reaction to infection), which start to break down connective tissues that hold the teeth in place.

Unless this process is stopped and treated professionally, it can make gums and bones deteriorate so much they won’t be able to support teeth any longer. Note that damaged tissues might make it impossible to install dental implants.

Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease

Anyone can be affected by this condition, but some people have a higher risk of developing it due to their habits or health.

  • Smokers.
    Smoking is the #1 risk factor for this and a variety of other dental problems. This habit also reduces the chances of treatment success.
  • Diabetics.
    This condition reduces one’s ability to fight any type of infections, including periodontal disease.
  • Girls and women going through hormonal changes.
    The gum sensitivity increases during these periods.
  • People taking specific medications.
    A variety of pharmaceutical drugs interfere with the production of saliva. Dry mouth increases the risk of gum disease and other dental conditions.
  • People with a genetic predisposition to this disease.

Note that a variety of chronic health disorders can make you more susceptible to gum disease. Therefore, you’ll need to tell your dentist about any health problems you have.

Periodontal Disease: Symptoms

  • Red, swollen, and/or bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Painful chewing

At Buckingham Family Dental, we will provide you with the treatment necessary to stop periodontal disease at any stage and reverse the damage it does to your body as well as provide you with effective prevention tips.

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