Your gums and the underlying jawbone are important components of your periodontium that anchor your teeth. The periodontium provides a strong foundation, thus maintaining the integrity of your mouth. Any damage to these structures can cause periodontal disease.
Denver, CO dentist offers comprehensive diagnosis and treatment modalities for periodontal disease to maintain the vitality of your gums and jawbone.
Periodontal disease explained
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, refers to infection and inflammation affecting the periodontium. This consists of the cementum, gums, periodontal ligaments (PDL), and the jawbone. The disease usually begins at the gums and may eventually progress to the underlying jawbone, if left untreated.
Severe and advanced forms of periodontal disease are considered the leading causes of tooth loss.
Causes of periodontal disease
Excess plaque buildup and bacterial infiltration are the prime suspects leading to periodontal disease. Plaque is a sticky film covering your teeth surfaces, and due to poor oral hygiene, it may increase. This paves the way for the bacterial invasion that releases harmful toxins and acids that damage the teeth and supporting structures.
Other contributing factors include:
- Unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking and tobacco use
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Hormonal changes as seen during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause
- Certain medications like antihistamines or antihypertensives
- Some autoimmune disorders like lupus
- Stress and anxiety
- Excessive alcoholism
Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease
The most common signs and symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Red, swollen gums
- Soreness and tenderness in the gums
- Bleeding while brushing
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Pus discharge due to abscess formation on the gums
- Altered bite and jaw alignment
Treating periodontal disease
Treatment for periodontal disease depends on the severity of the condition. These include:
- Oral prophylaxis
- Dental cleaning
- Root planing
- Oral antibiotics to treat infection
- Antimicrobial mouthwashes and gargles
- Pocket reduction surgery
- Gum flap surgery
- Regeneration procedure
- Soft tissue graft
- Bone grafting
You may be prone to the disease due to genetics which require a maintenance regime through the following:
- Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush
- Floss regularly
- Use an antimicrobial mouthwash
- Avoid smoking and other tobacco use
- Visit your dentist at least once in 6 months for regular cleanings and exams
It is essential to know the warning signs suggestive of periodontal disease. This paves the way for timely management since if left untreated, it can take a toll on your gums and overall oral health. Periodontal disease can also increase your risk of other systemic diseases. Seek dental care if you notice any symptoms before the condition deteriorates.