Commonly known as gum disease, periodontitis is the inflammation of the gum tissue and bone loss around your teeth. This is caused by a build-up of harmful bacteria in your mouth. Periodontal disease is very common, the CDC and ADA reported that 50% of the American population over 30 years of age has the disease.
Severe cases of periodontitis cause loss of teeth and risk of the infection spreading through your body. Periodontal disease develops quickly. If you experience any of the symptoms listed below, schedule an exam with your dentist as soon as possible.
Periodontitis starts out as gingivitis, which is the mildest form of gum disease and is mostly reversible. If you notice that your gums bleed when you brush your teeth or you have bad breath, this could be a sign of gingivitis.
Other signs of more advanced cases include, but are not limited to receding gum line, red, swollen, and tender gums, misaligned teeth, loose teeth, and pockets of pus between teeth and gums. These more advanced symptoms should be examined by your dentist for proper treatment. At OC Healthy Smiles, we offer appointment times Monday through Saturdays as early as 7 am and as late as 7 pm to ensure that you can receive treatment as soon as possible.
To best understand prevention, it is important to understand how you develop periodontal disease. When harmful bacteria is not properly removed from your mouth with brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits, the bacteria starts to build-up. The bacteria then start to accumulate around your teeth and in your gums. Pockets of this bacteria can form which can shift your teeth and cause sensitivity in your gums. These pockets and the harmful build-up are the cause of periodontitis.
It is true that some people are more genetically susceptible to periodontitis. Hormonal changes in women can also increase susceptibility. While these two cases are out of your control, others that are in your control include dry mouth, stress, and smoking. Smoking not only is a cause of periodontal disease, it also slows down healing from the disease. Choosing to quit smoking will significantly reduce the severity of periodontitis, so talk to your dentist today to get help with quitting.
Misaligned teeth make it more difficult to properly remove the harmful bacteria from your mouth when brushing. Treating your misaligned teeth with Invisalign at OC Healthy Smiles will significantly reduce the amount of food and bacteria that get trapped in and around your teeth. The bacteria build up from misaligned teeth gets trapped in pockets between your gums and then causes the infection that is periodontitis.
Luckily, preventing periodontal disease does not have to be difficult. Good oral care such as daily brushing, flossing, and regular visits to your dentist are easy ways to prevent the disease. Having a good oral hygiene routine will reduce the build-up of plaque and bacteria that can be trapped on and around your teeth and gums. When you don’t allow bacteria to stick around in your mouth, you are ultimately cutting off the source that feeds into periodontitis and gingivitis.
If your dentist identifies that your symptoms are more severe, you may need additional treatment with your hygienist. One possible treatment would be a deep cleaning where the hygienist removes bacteria that is trapped in pockets in your gums and around the roots of your teeth. After this deep cleaning, it is important to continue your daily oral hygiene routine to prevent re-infection.
Seeing your dentist and hygienist on a regular basis will allow for early identification of the disease and reduce the risk of tooth loss. Call OC Healthy Smiles today (714) 545-0484 to schedule your thorough exam and cleaning.