Everything You Must Know About Periodontal Disease
Dental health encompasses a lot more than just caring for your teeth. Dental diseases can take different forms and types, which is why oral health has everything to do with your entire mouth. One of the largest parts of the oral cavity is the gum tissue. It plays a significant role in holding the teeth in place, covering the bone structure, as well as enabling motion and movements of other parts. Therefore, the health of your gums should matter just as much as that of your teeth. As you work to ensure your teeth look good, do the same for your gum tissue. The last thing you want is to be battling periodontal disease.
What is Periodontal Disease?
It is a condition that explains the infection of the gum tissue. For this reason, it is also known as gum disease. Ideally, it has been referred to as a set of inflammatory conditions that affect any part of the gum tissue in your oral cavity. For the most part, this infection damages the gum tissue. However, as the condition advances, the infection can damage your teeth, as well as the bone tissue. The condition has still not been linked assuredly to one cause. There are just several situations that increase the risk of gum infection, including the following:
- Poor oral hygiene – this is the leading risk factor. It allows plaque to form on your teeth, which then spreads the bacteria to your gum tissue.
- Tobacco usage – includes smoking, snuffing and chewing
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Chronic health problems like diabetes and cancer.
Types of Periodontal Disease
This disease has different names, based on the severity. It advances from one level to another, given how much time you have allowed the infection to sit in your mouth. The two types of periodontal disease are:
- Gingivitis – This is the very initial stage of gum infection. It may not be easy to identify unless you are cautious about your oral health. It begins with discomfort in your gums, as well as tenderness and swelling. As the infection spreads and the bacteria replicate gingivitis advances to another level.
- Periodontitis – This is the more severe stage of gum disease. At this stage, it is exigent. The signs of this stage are far worse than those of gingivitis. The worst bit is that periodontitis can quickly introduce other oral problems, including tooth loss. At this stage, you have no option but to seek immediate dental assistance.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
How will you know you have a gum infection? Like with any other health problem considering the symptoms and signs is the first way to know you have a problem. The signs of gum infection include the following:
- Tender and swollen gums – these are usually among the very first signs of gum infection.
- Mouth sores – they are usually recurrent
- Pain when chewing – the pain worsens as the disease progresses.
- Bleeding gums – this is very evident when you bite on foods, chew, or even when brushing your teeth.
- Receded gums – when the gums are infected, they tend to pull back from teeth. This destabilizes the support offered to teeth. It is one of the reasons why periodontitis causes tooth loss.
- Wobbly teeth and tooth loss – other than the receded gums, gum infection also causes loss of bone tissue. When this happens, your teeth lack the proper support they need. They, therefore, start shaking, and sooner than later, fall off.
Treatment Options for Periodontal Disease
Depending on when you catch the infection, different treatment options can be employed. They include:
- Professional dental cleaning – teeth cleaning offers professional flossing sessions as well as teeth brushing. These ensure that no plaque is left caught up in between your teeth. As this is the leading cause of periodontal disease, you are less likely to have gum infection after a professional dental cleaning.
- Teeth scaling – this is an effort to remove any tartar and stubborn plaque on teeth.
- Medication – pain relievers and antibiotics can help with the pain, inflammation, and bacteria.
- Gum surgery – this involves gum grafting, to help restore the gum tissue that has been damaged, and cover the roots of teeth adequately.