Periodontal disease, often referred to as gum disease, is a common concern for many adults. Its severity can range from minor inflammation with a bit of discomfort to major damage to the soft tissue and bone that can even lead to the loss of teeth. As healthy patients strive to maintain their overall health, oral health should not be ignored.
Periodontal Disease Causes and Risk Factors:
• Plaque build up. Plaque that is not removed from the teeth with regular brushing and flossing can harden to tartar. Tartar can only be removed via professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist.
• Smoking. Smoking is one of the most substantial risk factors in the development of periodontal disease. Smoking also decreases the likelihood of successful treatment.
• Hormonal changes. For girls and women, hormonal changes in the body are natural and can’t be avoided. However, these changes can make the gums more sensitive and vulnerable to disease.
• Diabetes. Infections are more prevalent for people with diabetes, which includes increased risk of oral infections.
• Medications. A common side effect for many prescription and non-prescription drugs is the reduction of saliva. Saliva has a protective effect on the mouth. If the mouth lacks sufficient saliva for a length of time, your gums are more susceptible to disease.
• Genetic factors. Some people are naturally more prone to periodontal disease than others.
Periodontal Disease Symptoms:
We will watch for signs of periodontal disease during your regular visits. But if you think you’re experiencing symptoms you may want to book an appointment for a consultation.
• Persistent bad breath
• Swollen or red gums
• Gum tenderness and bleeding
• Pain when chewing
• Loose teeth
• Sensitive teeth
• Receding gums (you may notice that your teeth look longer)
Reduce the Risk of Developing Periodontal Disease
Your main defense against periodontal disease is maintaining good oral care:
• Use a fluoride toothpaste for brushing twice a day
• Floss daily
• Keep up regular dental appointments for professional cleaning and check-ups.
• Don’t smoke.
If you have any questions about periodontal disease, its symptoms, and its treatment, please give us a call at 828-631-3283 or schedule an appointment. We look forward to seeing you.
David S. McGuire, DDS