What Is Periodontal Disease?
Often referred to as simply “gum disease”, periodontal disease is a broad term for inflammatory conditions affecting the various tissues surrounding the teeth. These tissues include:
- Gingiva: The gum tissue.
- Cementum: The outer layer of the teeth roots.
- Alveolar bone: The sockets that hold the teeth.
- Periodontal ligaments (PDLs): The connective tissue fibers between the alveolar bone and the cementum.
Periodontal disease begins as “gingivitis”, and people begin to notice it when their gums become inflamed, swollen, red, and painful. Excessive bleeding when your teeth are brushed is another symptom of gingivitis and the early stages of periodontal disease. Bloody gums are not only unpleasant and alarming, they can also increase the amount of bacteria that enters your bloodstream. Bacteria in the mouth that is causing gingivitis has a direct path to the bloodstream, thus degrading the health of not only your mouth, but your whole body as well.
In its later stages, periodontal disease results in the gums pulling away from the teeth, which become loose and easily damaged due to the swelling of the gum tissue. Bone loss can also occur, and teeth often decay or even fall out entirely. Bad breath is another problem, although it’s easily the least of your worries.
Periodontal disease is primarily caused by poor dental hygiene. This includes failure to make regular appointments with your local dentist for a checkup and cleaning. When the teeth and gums are not properly taken care of, a matrix of bacteria (plaque) accumulates at the gum line, leading to inflammation and the weakening of the teeth.
How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?
Once gingivitis has progressed into full-on periodontal disease, there is no absolute cure. There are, however, plenty of ways in which it can be treated.
Cedar Creek Dental provides scaling and root planing in order to remove dangerous toxins that accumulate with periodontal disease. This process cleans between the teeth and gums all the way down to the roots.
After root planing and scaling is accomplished, remember to brush and floss regularly afterward. This will ensure that the gum disease does not make any further progress. If you’re a smoker, it is a good idea to quit smoking as well, as tobacco limits your body’s ability to fight off gum infection and will delay your healing.
Cedar Creek Dental also provides other methods of periodontal disease treatment, such as host modulation. This process works by altering the bacterial host properties and diminishing hospitality to dangerous toxins.
Don’t Wait For Your Problems To Get Worse
Gingivitis can be cured. Periodontal disease, on the other hand, is something that will likely last the rest of your life. The best thing that can be done against periodontal disease is preventing it from manifesting in the first place. Otherwise, your only option is treatment.
As with all aspects of life, it is better to solve your dental problems by preventing them before they occur.