Facts About Periodontal Disease
Bleeding gums at times may be caused by brushing with a hard-bristled toothbrush. However, in most cases, unexplained gum bleeding can be a sign of gum disease. Periodontal disease is the inflammation of the gingivae, which causes the gums to recede. Gum disease is silent and normally do not cause any symptoms. Read on to learn about other periodontal disease facts.
1. Periodontal Disease Develops in Stages
Gingivitis and periodontitis are common terms used to address gum disease. Although they are used interchangeably, gingivitis and periodontitis are not the same. Rather, they represent the stages in which the gum disease develops.
Gingivitis is the initial stage inflammation of the gums. It is reversible because, at this stage, the infection has not affected the bones and teeth. Gingivitis is asymptomatic, and the few symptoms present are painless. That is why gum inflammation is a common problem among adults. Fortunately, the infection is treatable with non-surgical dental treatments.
Some of the initial gingivitis symptoms include occasional bad breath, redness of the gums, and slight bleeding after brushing.
Periodontitis can be either moderate or severe. But, regardless of the severity, the damage caused by the infection is irreversible. When the gum disease advances to the bone, it can cause the gums to recede and expose the root. This leads to decay and weakening of the teeth. As bacteria evolve and get more aggressive, it can cause severe bone loss. Although proper dental hygiene is essential, it does not suffice when it comes to periodontitis. You will need advanced dental treatments.
Common periodontitis symptoms include swollen gums, bad breath, pus between your gums, receding gums, and increasing tooth sensitivity.
2. Poor Hygiene is Not the Only Risk Factor
Poor brushing techniques cause plaques to buildup, harden, and form tartar. As the calculus accumulates, it creates a perfect environment for bacteria to multiply. This is the primary cause of periodontal disease. However, several factors can increase the risk of you developing gum disease.
- Hormonal imbalance. Hormonal changes, especially during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy, affects the blood flow to the gums. Furthermore, it affects how the body fights an infection.
- Certain illnesses affect your immune system reducing the ability to fight the bacterial infection.
- Dry mouth can also cause gum infection. Saliva helps to strengthen the teeth by promoting the reabsorption of minerals by the enamel. Also, it helps to remove food particles from the teeth and gums.
- Smoking makes it hard for the gum to heal itself
- Family history
Knowing your gum disease risk factor can increase your chances of preventing the disease. Visit our dentist in Omaha for an assessment and discussion of the risks.
3. Gum Disease Can Be Infectious
Gum disease is triggered by the inflammation of the gingivae and may technically not be contagious. However, the infection-causing bacteria can spread through saliva. Avoid sharing spoons and toothbrushes, especially if you have a risk of periodontal disease.
4. Periodontal Disease is Treatable
The chief goal of periodontal therapy is to remove the infection and stop further damage to the teeth. In the initial stages, the dentist can recommend non-surgical treatments such as:
- Scaling, and root planing. Scaling is the removal of the tartar buildup from the tooth surface and gum line. Root planing is done to smoothen the root surface, remove the bacteria, and reattach the gums to the teeth.
- Medication for fighting the bacterial infection is also recommended.
For advanced cases, surgical treatments are an ideal treatment. Some of the surgical procedures done include:
- Flap or pocket surgery reduction
- Soft tissue graft that is done to stimulate tissue growth and stop gum recession
- Bone graft prevents bone loss and also promotes new bone growth
Adjusting your lifestyle will also go a long way in preventing gum disease. Stop smoking, focus on your nutrition, and practice good dental hygiene. It is also advisable to get a routine dental checkup and professional cleaning.
Schedule an Appointment
Visit Anding Family Dental if you have tender and swollen gums, and Dr. Michelle Chang will recommend an ideal periodontal disease treatment.