Periodontal disease is when your gums become infected. This results in inflammation around the infected area and damages the tissues and bones supporting your teeth. Perhaps the most important thing to note is that when treated early the condition can be cured and reversed. But, if ignored and left, it will lead to tooth loss.
All About Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease starts when bacteria attack the gum. This usually happens when tartar is allowed to build up, giving the bacteria a safe place to hide. Tartar is simply a hardening of plaque that hasn’t been removed from the teeth. The bacteria are trapped but have everything they need to flourish and damage the gum in the process.
As periodontal disease progresses the gums will recede. You will also notice an array of other symptoms
Gum inflammation is a result of the gums being attacked and your body responding to the attack. It will be noticeable in your mouth as the gums will be tender to touch. They will look swollen and are likely to be dark red or even purple in color.
Gums That bleed Easily
Because your gums are swollen and your body is responding to attack they will be much more tender than normal. This means they will be more painful, even gently brushing your finger against them will hurt. Alongside this, simple things, such as brushing your teeth, are likely to cause your gums to bleed.
As the disease progresses and starts to beat your natural defenses the gums will be damage and start to recede. This means more of your tooth will be exposed which will make it easier for bacteria to get into the gap and cause more damage. As your gums recede your teeth support will get weaker.
Of course, most of the strength in your teeth comes from their roots. Unfortunately, periodontal disease will attack the bone under your gum line. As it slowly destroys the bone your teeth will start to become loose. The bone loss will show on an x-ray.
The looser your teeth are the more likely it is they will fall out.
Because you have an infection in your mouth you will notice us in pockets, especially where the gums are most inflamed. The problem is that this will also trigger an unpleasant aroma in your mouth. It will make you self-conscious and damage your confidence.
Finally, you are likely to find biting painful, chewing tougher foods will also be painful and you may start to have tooth alignment issues.
If you show signs of any of the above symptoms you should contact your dentist, or a reputable establishment such as this dentist St Leonards, as soon as possible. The sooner you get it looked at the better as your dentist can help to reverse the effects of the disease, but only if caught early.
The Health Risks Associated With periodontal Disease
Recent studies indicate that your oral health has a direct effect on your overall health. This isn’t that surprising as your mouth has a lot of blood vessels near the surface, these are perfect for absorbing nutrients. They can also carry bacteria and plaque from your mouth around your body.
One of the biggest problems is the bacteria that can get into our bloodstream. This can spread to other parts of your body and it is believed it often travels to your brain, increasing the likelihood of specific diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
The plaque that moves into your arteries from your mouth is believed to adhere to the sides of your blood vessels, contributing to the buildup of fat that already exists. This reduces the space for blood to flow and increases the likelihood of cardiovascular issues, specifically heart attacks and stroke.
Other issues that have been linked with gum disease are diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. These are caused by the inflammation in your gums damaging key blood vessels and organs in your body.
The good news is that it takes time for this to happen, which means you can deal with the issue today and reduce the risk.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
The most important thing you can do to prevent periodontal diseases is to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time. It is important to brush gently, let the bristles do the work. If you are worried about brushing too hard then hold your toothbrush with your forefinger and thumb only. This will ensure the pressure isn’t too great.
Alongside this it is a good idea to use an antimicrobial mouthwash daily, it will help to kill the unwanted bacteria in your mouth.
Of course, monitoring the health of your mouth and teeth will help. You can do this visually and by sticking to the dental checkup schedule that your dentist has recommended.
Even if you have a fear of the dentist, remember that this is for your overall health.
Other things you can do to reduce the dangers of periodontal disease include keeping your mouth moist. This is usually achieved naturally through your saliva. However, if you start to suffer from a dry mouth consider sipping water regularly and chewing sugar-free gum.
You can also choose foods that make, you salivate and you should avoid foods that are high in processed sugars. Equally, it is best to avoid snacking between meals. This isn’t good for your teeth, gums, or your overall health.
Far too many people have periodontal disease which can have a seriously detrimental effect on your life. The sad thing is that it can be treated and the risks reduced or eliminated. All you have to do is keep an eye on your teeth and gums and make sure you have regular checkups.
What better reason could there be to visit a dentist than to think about being fit and healthy in your old age?