Guides, tips

Everything You Need to Know About Periodontal Disease

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Fig 1. The Stages of Periodontal Disease (Advanced Dental Group, 2015).

Once in a while everyone forgets to floss or falls asleep without brushing, but did you know that it can lead to periodontal disease?

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease, aka gum disease, according to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) is, “caused when bacteria in plaque (a sticky, colorless film that forms in the mouth) builds up between the gums and teeth. When the bacteria begin to grow, the gums surrounding the tooth can become inflamed.” (AAP, 2).

If plaque stays on your teeth too long it can build up over time and form into tartar or calculus, which are hardened forms of plaque. Even though it sounds like your teeth are going to start doing higher level math if you don’t brush you don’t have to worry. You can get rid of the plaque, tartar or calculus by seeing your regular dentist and letting them do a deep cleaning on your teeth.

Gum Disease is a Common Disease

Gum diseases are very common in the United States, around half of the population is dealing with it. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) already over “70.1% of adults 65 years or older have periodontal disease” (CDC, 3). Even if you do take care of your oral health there are other factors that could compromise it.

Risk Factors of Gum Disease

Plaque is the number one cause of periodontal disease, which is created in excess by not regularly brushing or flossing. There are also other risks that can effect your oral health and make you more susceptible to gum disease. Other risk factors according to the CDC and AAP are smoking/tobacco use, genetics, stress, diabetes, crooked teeth, medications, clenching or grinding your teeth, immunodeficiencies, bridges that aren’t fitting properly, hormonal changes in women, obesity, poor nutrition and poor oral health.

What are the symptoms?

After tartar or calculus builds up and begins to cover the gums it can cause the gums to become reddened and teeth begin to decay. According to the CDC and AAP, the symptoms associated with gum disease are, red swollen gums, loose teeth, bleeding while brushing and while flossing or eating, sensitive teeth, bad breath, mouth sores, mouth pains, pus and changes in the way partial dentures fit. If you have any of these symptoms you should see your regular dentist so that it doesn’t escalate into a full blown gum disease.

How to Prevent It

After all of this information you’re probably wondering, what can I do to prevent it? Well you’re in luck because it’s really easy to prevent. All you have to do is remember to brush your teeth and floss everyday, also make sure to see your dentist every six months. Brushing and flossing removes the bacteria that has been building up and reduces your risk of getting a gum disease. If you notice any of the symptoms that are associated with gum disease make sure to schedule an appointment with your regular dentist.

If you are in the area and would like to make an appointment with a dentist call us at 912-353-9533 or go to our website, Savannah Dental Centre, also, check out our Facebook @CohenDental to see what’s going on in our neck of the woods.

 

Sources

  1. [The Stages of Periodontal Disease]. (2015, May 4). Retrieved March 2, 2017, from http://www.advanceddentalgrp.com/signs-and-symptoms-of-gum-disease-west-palm-beach-dentist/
  2. AAP (n.d.). PREVENTING PERIODONTAL DISEASE. Retrieved March 02, 2017, from https://www.perio.org/consumer/prevent-gum-disease
  3. CDC (2012, September 04). CDC: Half of American Adults Have Periodontal Disease. Retrieved March 02, 2017, from https://www.perio.org/consumer/cdc-study.htm#OverlayWrapper/0/
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