What Is Periodontal Disease And How To Prevent It?

Periodontal diseases are mainly the result of infections and inflammation of the gums and bones that surround and support the teeth. In its early stage, called gingivitis, the gums can become swollen and red and may bleed. In its more severe form, called periodontitis, the gums can pull away from the tooth, bone can be lost, and the teeth may loosen or fall out. Periodontal disease is primarily observed in adults. Periodontal disease and tooth decay are the two biggest threats to dental health which leads to toothache.

 

A recent CDC report provides the following data related to the prevalence of periodontitis in the U.S.:

  • 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease.
  • Periodontal disease increases with age. 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease.
  • This condition is more common in men than women (56.4% vs. 38.4%)
  • Those living below the federal poverty level (65.4%)
  • Those with less than a high school education (66.9%) and current smokers (64.2%)

Causes

IF YOU DONT BRUSH YOUR TEETH REGULARLY, Bacteria in the mouth creates a thin film around the tooth structure and causes infection surrounding the tooth, which is called inflammation, leading to periodontal disease.

periodontal diseaseIf Plaque hardens it forms a hard surface called tartar.

 

Once tartar forms, it is difficult for you to clean it with a regular toothbrush, and it becomes necessary to visit a dental professional and stop the periodontal disease process.

Warning signs

The following are warning signs of periodontal disease:

  • Bad breath or bad taste that won’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Gums that have pulled away from your teethplaque and tartar
  • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of partial dentures or ill-fitting dentures

Risk factors

Certain factors increase the risk for periodontal disease:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Stress
  • Heredity (runs in the family)
  • Crooked or deformed teeth
  • Underlying immune-deficiencies—e.g., AIDS
  • Fillings that have become defective
  • Taking medications that cause dry mouth
  • Bridges that no longer fit properly
  • Female hormonal changes, such as with pregnancy or the use of oral contraceptives

Prevention and treatment

Gingivitis can be controlled and treated with good oral hygiene and regular professional cleaning. More severe forms of periodontal disease can also be treated successfully but may require more extensive treatment. Such treatment might include a deep cleaning of the tooth-root surfaces below the gums, medications prescribed to take by mouth or placed directly under the gums, and sometimes corrective surgery.

To help prevent or control periodontal diseases, it is essential to:

  1. Brush and floss every day to remove the bacteria that cause gum disease.
  2. See a dentist at least once a year for checkups or more frequently if you have any warning signs or risk factors mentioned above.

tooth brush

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