What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. It’s caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth when you don’t brush and floss regularly. If plaque isn’t removed, it can harden into tartar, which can irritate your gums and cause them to become inflamed and bleed.
What are the stages of periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease has two main stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal disease. It’s characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Gingivitis is reversible with good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing twice a day.
Periodontitis is the more advanced stage of periodontal disease las vegas dentist. In periodontitis, the infection spreads to the tissues and bones that support your teeth. This can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that fill with plaque and bacteria. Over time, the pockets deepen and the bone that supports the teeth is destroyed. This can cause teeth to loosen or fall out.
What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?
Symptoms of periodontal disease can include:
- Red, swollen, and bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Painful chewing
- Gum recession (gums pulling away from the teeth)
Who is at risk for periodontal disease?
Everyone is at risk for periodontal disease, but some people are more susceptible than others. Risk factors for periodontal disease include:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Dry mouth
- Certain medications
- Family history of periodontal disease
How can I prevent periodontal disease?
The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing once a day. You should also see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
How is periodontal disease treated?
Treatment for periodontal disease depends on the severity of the infection. For mild to moderate cases, treatment may include:
- Professional dental cleaning: Your dentist or hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and below your gum line.
- Antibiotic therapy: In some cases, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help reduce inflammation and fight infection.
- Root planing and scaling: This procedure involves removing plaque and tartar from the roots of your teeth.
For more severe cases of periodontal disease, additional treatments may be necessary, such as:
- Periodontal surgery: This type of surgery can be used to reduce the depth of gum pockets and repair damaged bone and tissue.
- Bone grafts: Bone grafts can be used to replace lost bone and help stabilize loose teeth.
- Dental implants: Dental implants can be used to replace teeth that have been lost due to periodontal disease.
What are the complications of periodontal disease?
If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to a number of complications, including:
- Tooth loss
- Heart disease
- Diabetes complications
- Respiratory infections
- Premature birth and low birth weight babies
Periodontal health is the condition of the tissues that support your teeth. It’s important to maintain periodontal health to prevent gum disease and keep your teeth healthy for a lifetime.
There are a number of things you can do to maintain periodontal health, including:
- Practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and floss once a day.
- See your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings: Your dentist can identify and treat any signs of gum disease early on.
- Quit smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for periodontal disease.
- Manage any underlying medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and HIV/AIDS, can increase your risk of periodontal disease. It’s important to manage these conditions properly to reduce your risk of gum disease.
Periodontal disease is a serious infection that can damage your teeth and gums. It’s important to understand the risk factors for periodontal disease and take steps to prevent it. If you do develop periodontal disease, early detection and treatment is essential to prevent further damage to your teeth and gums.
Additional tips for maintaining periodontal health:
- Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet can help keep your gums strong and healthy. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Avoid sugary drinks: Sugary drinks can contribute to plaque buildup.