What Is Periodontal Disease?
When it comes to maintaining a healthy mouth, the health of gums is often understated. Gums surround the teeth and form a protective barrier. This provides resistance against infections and shields the underlying bone as well. Diseases of the gum are generally referred to as periodontal disease and are usually preceded by gingivitis. If ignored and left untreated, complications can occur that can lead to tooth loss in severe cases. We at Periodontal and Implant Surgeons of Houston can provide the best care and help you avoid such incidents.
Symptoms & Causes
Healthy gums are usually pink in appearance and have a firm feel. A gap developing between gums and teeth can be an early warning sign. If there is redness and swelling of gums and they easily bleed during regular brushing or while flossing, there is a likelihood of early-stage periodontal disease or gingivitis. These symptoms can be accompanied by persistent bad breath or bad taste and sensitivity in teeth.
Our mouths are normally host to hundreds of bacteria, most of which are harmless. However, excessive bacteria build-up combined with food debris can cause plaque, a sticky bacteria-filled layer, to develop. Plaque accumulation on teeth can harden into tartar, which is significantly more difficult to remove.
Matters can become more severe if the gap between gums and teeth gets infected with bacteria leading to periodontal disease. This triggers a response from the immune system of the body, which may also cause inflammation of gums. If left unattended, it can even reach the underlying bone and tissue which keep the teeth in place. This can cause a recession of gums, severe pain while eating, and ultimately tooth loss. The most common contributors towards the development of such conditions include malnutrition, non-adherence to a good oral hygiene routine, and tobacco use, amongst a host of others. Additionally, family history and genetic predisposition may also play a part.
Prevention & Treatment
Fortunately, most incidents of periodontal disease are preventable and start with maintaining a high standard of oral hygiene. Ensuring the health of gums should be a priority as they directly impact the health of teeth and overall oral hygiene. This can be achieved by having a daily maintenance routine that includes regular and proper brushing, flossing along with using an appropriate mouthwash. Along with this, regular visits to the dentist should also be scheduled to check for plaque build-up, receding gums, or any other issues. If addressed early, such issues can be controlled to ward off any further complications and can even reverse early-stage gingivitis.
However, more advanced cases may require further intervention and treatment. A dentist will examine for sensitivity, check the size of the gap between gum and teeth, and will prepare an appropriate treatment plan. This can include a deep cleaning of teeth, the use of oral antibiotics, and even surgery.
The onset of periodontal disease can be worrisome at first and can cause significant pain if left unaddressed. However, with the right guidance and care, any untoward situation can be avoided. If you would like to discuss any concerns, call at 346-245-5585 to schedule your appointment.