Periodontal disease: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Periodontal disease; it sounds bad and it is. It’s a gum disease you don’t want to get and one you can easily avoid with a little dedication.
What is Periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is a serious gum infection inflicted by bacteria. Gum infections need to be taken seriously as it can lead to severe damage to the soft tissue around the teeth and ultimately destroy the bones supporting our teeth.
Swollen and bleeding gums is an early symptom of a gum infection with bacteria which can spread if nothing is done. When that happens, look out.
What are the symptoms of Periodontal disease?
Have a look at your gums. Are they healthy, firm and pink? Do they sit around your teeth in the right way?
Or do they seem strangely detached from your teeth and appear to be receding? Do your teeth look a bit longer than they should as a result?
Are your gums swollen? Are they a red or purple rather than pink? Do they bleed easily?
Are you eating softer foods simply because your teeth hurt when you chew steak or pork?
If you’ve started to nod, chances are you’ve got a case of Periodontal disease and you should be going nowhere but the nearest dentist until you sort it out.
If you don’t, you’ll start experiencing certain symptoms: bleeding gums, pus between teeth and gums, bad breath, and teeth falling out.
What causes Periodontal disease?
Plaque build-up is the main culprit. Plaque is a sticky film caused when sugars and starches are left to interact with bacteria. Plaque can then turn into tartar, which is full of bacteria and even more difficult to remove. That’s when the real problems start – decay, cavities and gum disease.
Factors that can increase your risk of a gum disease or worsen it once the infection sets in are smoking, stress, crowded teeth or bridgework, having a genetic susceptibility, fluctuating hormones, teeth grinding, certain medications and poor nutrition.
Periodontal disease treatment
Fortunately yes, but the sooner you get to a dentist the better. They will correct any tooth and gum damage with medications and whatever dental work is required.
Want to know more about treating gum disease? Read our previous blog on 'How to treat gum disease.'
How to prevent Periodontal disease?
Well, to be frank, Periodontal disease is very much avoidable and largely due to a poor oral hygiene regime.
If you brush at least twice a day and immediately after every meal, you’re well on the way to keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy. You don’t need to brush hard or use a hard bristle brush; a thorough, moderate clean with a soft to medium toothbrush is usually sufficient to remove surface problems.
You can then add regular flossing to your routine. Also, gargling with an antibacterial mouthwash helps to keep your mouth fresh and free from gum disease.