Periodontal Disease 101: Here's What You Need To Know

Posted on: 17 November 2015

Periodontal disease is often the result of not treating gingivitis. It causes your gums to start pulling away from your teeth and form these little pockets that end up being infected. Your body's natural immune system works hard to fight all of that bacterial as plaque begins growing and spreading deep into your gums. Over time, your body's enzymes that are working to fight off the infection actually end up breaking down your bones and all the connecting tissues that keep your teeth where they should be. If you don't do something about it, your gums, teeth and the tissues that hold them where they need to be is destroyed causing your teeth to become loose or require extraction.

What are the risk factors associated with the disease?

Smoking is one of the main risk factors associated with periodontal disease. Traditional treatment methods might not work for those who continue smoking. Smoking decreases your body's ability to fight off the infection and actually destroys your teeth from the nicotine in the cigarettes.

Certain heart medications and antidepressants can also cause issues with your oral health. They end up minimizing your body's production of saliva. You need saliva to protect your gums and teeth, so without it, your system is prone to more dangers.

Other risk factors include stress, diabetes, illnesses, hormonal changes and genetics to name a few. If you suspect something isn't right with your teeth, you need to discuss your concerns with your dentist.

How can you prevent it?

The best way to prevent periodontal disease in the first place is by following a standard oral hygiene routine and taking care of your body. Floss every day. Brush twice per day. Visit your dentist every six months for a regular check-up. Refrain from using any type of tobacco product. Eat a healthy diet loaded with fruits and vegetables. In doing these things, you can keep your teeth and your body healthy.

How do you know if you have it?

Common symptoms are tender gums, loose teeth, sensitive teeth, bad breath that you simply cannot get rid of, red gums, painful chewing, swollen gums or bleeding gums. Any one of these things could mean something serious is going on that you need to get looked at right away to make sure.

There is no reason why anyone should have to suffer with periodontal disease. By being proactive and discussing your concerns with a specialist, such as Cumberland Periodontal Associate, you can treat the problem and restore your smile.