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About Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a condition affecting millions of people.  Half of Americans aged 30 or older have periodontitis, the advanced form of periodontal disease.  Many adults currently have some form of gum disease and they don’t even realize it.  Periodontal disease depends a great deal on how well you care for your teeth and gums each day.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a quiet disease that begins with little or no symptoms.  Gum disease is usually painless, so you may not even know you have it.  Gum disease is caused by plaque–a sticky film of bacteria that surrounds the teeth and enters the gums.  The early state of gum disease is known as gingivitis.  The gums become irritated, inflamed, and, often bleed.  If not properly treated, the condition worsens.  Advanced gum disease is called Periodontitis.

What are symptoms or warning signs of Periodontal Disease?

Symptoms or warning signs of periodontal disease include:

  • persistent bad breath;

  • red, swollen, tender gums;

  • gums that bleed easily;

  • receding gums or longer appearing teeth;

  • gum sensitivity to acidic foods;

  • abscesses;

  • tooth pain; and/or,

  • tooth loss.

Factors that increase risk of developing Periodontal Disease?

  • poor oral hygiene;

  • smoking or chewing tobacco;

  • genetics;

  • pregnancy;

  • diabetes;

  • some medications; and,

  • crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean.

How do you treat Periodontal Disease?

The main goal of treating Periodontal Disease is to control the infection.  Treatment varies, but through a series of periodontal cleanings, root planing and scaling, and local anesthesia, Periodontal Disease can be controlled.  In severe cases, surgery may be needed.

How do you prevent Periodontal Disease?

  • Brush teeth two times a day with fluoride toothpaste;

  • Floss regularly;

  • Eat a balanced diet; and,

  • Schedule regular dental visits.

A visual assessment and dental exam can reveal whether you suffer from periodontal disease. The sooner you catch periodontal disease, the easier it is to treat.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeanne Taylor