The Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal (Gum) Disease begins when the bacteria in the plaque around your teeth produce toxins (or poisons) that irritate the gums, causing infection. These toxins can lead to destruction of the tissue and bone around the teeth. When this happens, the gums separate from the teeth to form a pocket - called a periodontal pocket. As more tissue and bone are destroyed, the pockets get bigger and the teeth may loosen.

  • It is a gum infection that can damage the tissues and bone around the teeth.
  • If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss.
  • After age 35, about 3 out of 4 adults are affected by some form of the disease.
  • The main cause of gum disease is a sticky, colorless film, called bacterial plaque, that constantly forms on teeth.
  • If not removed, plaque can turn into a hard material called calculus.
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Warning Signs Of Gum Disease

The following signs may give a clue to having gum disease. If you suffer from any of them call your dentist right away.

  • Bleeding from your gums when you brush
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Bad breath or bad taste
  • Loose teeth
  • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
  • Pus in-between your teeth and gums when you press down on the gums
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any changes in the fit of partial dentures

It is possible not to have these warning signs and still have gum disease. Also, most people do not feel pain with the disease. This is why regular checkups are so important.

Risk Factors For Periodontal Disease

  • Poor Oral Hygiene - Plaque remaining on the teeth can lead to periodontal infections.
  • Smoking And Use Of Tobacco - Raise your chances of getting severe forms of the disease and may limit success of treatment.
  • Pregnancy - Changes in hormone levels may make the gums more sensitive to plaque.
  • Stress - Makes it hard for the body to fight off infection.
  • Medications - Some drugs, such as birth control pills, antidepressants, heart medicines, seizure medicines, and cancer drugs may affect your gums.
  • Clenching Or Grinding Your Teeth - Puts extra force on the supporting tissues and could speed up the disease.
  • Diseases - Some diseases like diabetes and AIDS make you more prone to infection and may make periodontal diseases more severe.
  • Poor Diet - Can make it harder for the body to fight infection.
  • Bridges That No Longer Fit - Raise the chances of retaining plaque.

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Keeping Your Teeth and Gums Healthy

Follow these great tips at home to practice correct oral hygiene!

  • Brush your teeth 2 times a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and replace it every 3 or 4 months.
  • Use dental floss or other cleaners to clean between teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • See your dental professional regularly