Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it! Periodontal disease can be hard for you to detect because it is painless in its early stages. Unlike tooth decay, which may cause sensitivity to sugars or cold, it is possible to have periodontal disease without noticeable symptoms. Regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations are very important and will help detect periodontal problems.
Periodontal disease begins when plaque is left on the teeth and gums. The bacteria in the plaque produce toxins (enzymes and acids) that inflame the gums and slowly destroy the bone. Brushing and flossing regularly and properly will ensure that plaque is not left behind to do its damage.
Other than poor oral hygiene, there are several other factors that may
increase the risk of developing periodontal disease:
Smoking or chewing tobacco – Tobacco users are more likely than non-users to form plaque and tartar on their teeth, making them more susceptible to periodontal disease.
Certain tooth or appliance conditions – Bridges that no longer fit properly, crowded teeth, or defective fillings may trap plaque and bacteria, allowing them to attack the teeth.
Many medications – Steroids, cancer therapy drugs, blood pressure medicines, oral contraceptives and other medications have side effects that reduce saliva, leaving the mouth dry, making it easier for plaque to adhere to the teeth and gums.
Pregnancy, oral contraceptives, and puberty – Changes in hormone levels can cause gum tissue to become more sensitive to bacterial toxins.
Systemic diseases – Diabetes, blood cell disorders, HIV / AIDS, etc. and other systemic diseases can alter the health of your mouth.
Genetics – Some patients may be predisposed to a more aggressive type of periodontitis. Patients with a family history of tooth loss should pay particular attention to their gums.
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria or rotting food in the mouth.
New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth in the bone).
Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present.
Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth.
Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.
Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.