What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease also known as gum disease is an inflammatory disease that affects primarily the gums. Types of disease range from a gum infection that causes swelling and bleeding of the gums all the way to more severe damage and bone loss around the tooth. It is estimated that over 64 million American adults have some form of Periodontal disease. Gum disease is a dental issue that can affect anyone. If left untreated it can lead to very serious health problems.
It is up to you to be proactive in taking care of your teeth and gums daily to ensure that you maintain a healthy mouth. Along with brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily, we recommend scheduling an appointment every six months with Dr. Leslie Anthony. She can help you prevent or spot any signs of gum disease early so that you can keep your mouth in optimal health.
Risk factors that contribute to gum disease include but are not limited to:
- Plaque build up
- Use of tobacco products
- Poor nutrition
- Clenching or Grinding your teeth
- Lack of good daily dental habits
Plaque is a type of bacteria that shows up on your teeth as a sticky film that can generally be removed with regular brushing and flossing. Plaque is the most common cause of gum disease and should be regularly removed from your teeth. Tarter buildup is a result of hardened plaque and cannot be removed by brushing and flossing. You must seek treatment from a dental professional for successful removal of tarter. Scheduling a cleaning with Dr. Leslie Anthony every six months will ensure plaque and tarter are properly removed.
Symptoms of Gum Disease:
- Tender, swollen, or red gums
- Gums that easily bleed while brushing and flossing
- Chronic bad breath or bad taste in mouth
- Loose teeth or teeth that move and separate
- Sores in your mouth
- Receding gums
- Change in bite
- Pain when chewing food
- Teeth that are overly sensitive to hot or cold temperatures
3 different stages of gum disease:
Gingivitis– Also known as inflammation of the gums, is caused by a buildup of plaque resulting in red, swollen, and irritated gums. This may occur from poor oral hygiene. Untreated gingivitis can progress and cause more serious problems.
Periodontitis– Periodontitis means “inflammation around the tooth”. It is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gums which usually occurs when gingivitis is not properly treated. A pocket can form below the gum line, encouraging plaque to accumulate and cause damage to underlying tissue and bone.
Advanced Periodontitis– This is the most progressed stage of gum disease. Characteristics of advanced periodontitis include loss of the surrounding periodontal tissues and bone that support your teeth. In extreme cases, teeth can shift or may become loose.
The best medicine is preventative medicine. Take the time to brush and floss your teeth twice a day and schedule cleaning appointments with Dr. Leslie Anthony every six months.