Periodontal disease can cause a wide array of issues if it goes untreated. Though there are many warning signs of periodontal disease, in some cases these signs may not be apparent. Obtaining regular dental cleanings will allow your dentist to find these issues before they progress to more severe stages.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection in the structures around the teeth. This includes infection in the gums, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone. It is caused by bacteria that resides in plaque, which is the sticky substance that regularly forms on your teeth. The earliest stage of periodontal disease, often known as gingivitis, is an infection in the gums. When periodontal disease progresses, it begins to affect the other areas surrounding the teeth as well.
When left untreated, periodontal disease can result in gum recession, jawbone deterioration, and even tooth loss. For this reason, it is important to see your dentist regularly, especially if you suspect that you might have periodontal disease.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
There are many symptoms of periodontal disease. Awareness of these symptoms can help you catch periodontal disease in the early stages. The symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Swollen and bleeding gums
- Loosening of teeth
- Chronic bad breath
- Tender or red gums
Periodontal Disease Prevention
The most important way to prevent periodontal disease is with good oral hygiene practices. Brushing and flossing your teeth thoroughly and consistently is vital in removing the plaque that can house harmful bacteria. Regular dental visits can help catch periodontal disease in the early stages.
Smoking can increase the risk of periodontal disease, as well as make current periodontal disease resistant to treatment. Quitting smoking can help prevent periodontal disease, as well as many other health concerns.
The necessary treatments vary based on the severity of the disease. Early stages of periodontal disease may require a simple dental cleaning to reverse. More severe stages will require a treatment called scaling and root-planning. If this treatment is ineffective, periodontal surgery may be required.
The best way to prevent periodontal disease is through vigilant care. For more information about treating periodontal disease, or to schedule your regular dental cleaning, contact us at Mills River Family Dental today!