The Patient’s Guide to Periodontal Disease - Vita Dental Spring
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The Patient’s Guide to Periodontal Disease

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The Patient’s Guide to Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease, which is often called gum disease, is amongst the most common problems that dentists deal with. Most patients that have the periodontal disease do not even know it since the symptoms are not always obvious. However, it is worth noting that gum disease can be prevented.

If you visit the dentist every six months, brush twice a day and floss at least once daily, you could technically prevent gum disease. The periodontal disease goes through three stages that we at Vita Dental Spring would like to discuss in detail for your sake.

Gingivitis

This is the earliest stage of periodontal disease. It also happens to be the least noticeable by the patients. Gingivitis occurs when plaque accumulates and turns into tartar at the gum line. This causes the gum tissue to become inflamed and it irritates.

Bacteria that make up the plaque feed on sugar and release toxic byproducts, which damage the gum tissue. If a patient does notice the symptoms of gingivitis, one of the most obvious will be bad breath. Besides that, they will often experience bleeding gums. Routine dental checkups will allow the dentist to detect gingivitis. At this early stage, it is quite easy to reverse with a professional cleaning and advice on the home-based oral care habits.

Periodontitis

Gingivitis is a mild type of periodontics but it should never be ignored. When it is left untreated for a long time, the gum disease will progress to the next level of periodontitis. In a healthy mouth, the gum tissue will adhere to the teeth snugly. However, as the periodontal disease develops, the tissue will begin to slack and pull away from your teeth.

The result is that deep pockets will form between the gums and teeth. These pockets are the perfect spot for bacteria to thrive since they harbor food particles on which the bacteria can feed. Besides that, as the gum line recedes it causes the teeth to become sensitive. The result is that the gums begin to look puffy, swollen, and dark in color. The patient will most likely notice persistently bad breath. At this stage, the periodontitis can be treated with root planing and scaling.

Advanced Periodontitis

The most severe type of periodontitis is advanced periodontitis. The destruction of connective tissue and the underlying bone that holds teeth in place characterizes this stage. Because of this, the teeth start to become loose. Most patients will notice that the upper and lower jaws no longer fit together.

Eventually, the patient will lose their teeth and they may even require oral surgery. If you are at this stage, you should visit a competent dental office such as Vita Dental office. At our offices, we conduct full dental restorations, no matter how advanced the periodontal disease might be.

What Causes Periodontal Disease

As mentioned above, a buildup of plaque is the main cause of periodontal disease. However, it is not the only cause. Here are some of the other causes of this illness.

  • Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes, like those that occur during pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause, usually make the gums more sensitive. This makes it easier for the gum disease to start developing.

  • Illnesses

In other cases, an illness could make your gums susceptible to gum disease. For instance, if you have HIV or cancer, it may interfere with your immune system. Additionally, diabetes will affect the ability of the body to use blood sugar. Patients that have this disease have a high risk of developing infections, which include cavities and periodontal disease.

  • Medication

Medication may also affect your oral health since it lessens the flow of saliva. The saliva usually has a protective effect on gums and teeth. Some drugs such as anti-angina drugs can lead to abnormal growth of the gum tissue.

  • Bad habits

Smoking is another bad habit that will have a huge impact on the health of your gum tissue. If you often smoke, the best thing you should do is quite immediately. If you cannot do it on your own, look for someone to help you to quit smoking. Additionally, if you drink often, try to cut down on your alcohol intake or quit altogether.

  • Poor oral hygiene habits

Poor oral hygiene habits are not just about brushing and flossing. If you use the wrong technique, it means gingivitis will have an easy time developing. Besides that, if you store your toothbrush the wrong way, it will increase your chances of contracting the periodontal disease. Besides that, using the same toothbrush for too long is part of poor oral health.

  • Family History

If you have had a family history of people with periodontal disease, you need to be especially wary. For some people, even with poor oral habits, they may not contract gum disease. However, others are genetically prone, which means they have to be extra cautious. Try to find out your history of gum disease so that you can monitor your oral health more closely.