Periodontal disease is a health problem that affects the gums and can eventually destroy the tissues around the teeth. If left untreated, this condition can lead to severe oral health problems and even the loss of teeth. Proper oral care is essential to maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
Anyone who fails to care for the teeth and gums can develop periodontal disease. Certain individuals are at higher risk of developing problems due to various lifestyle choices and other health issues. These include:
– People who use tobacco products
– Individuals with certain illnesses such as diabetes, HIV or cancer
– Females with hormone fluctuations caused by puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause
– People whose family health history includes dental disease
Health problem with the gums begin when bacteria is allowed to build up and form plaque on the teeth. If the plaque hardens, it forms tartar, which is harder to remove from the tooth’s surface. Flossing and brushing the teeth regularly, especially after meals, can eliminate plaque. Regular scheduled dental cleanings are important because only a dental professional can remove built up tartar on the teeth.
The bacteria in tartar and plaque attack the gums causing inflammation, known as gingivitis. This is the mildest form of gum disease and can be stopped with proper oral hygiene. Individuals who fail to receive treatment for gingivitis are at risk of developing periodontitis. When this happens, the gums begin to recede and spaces formed around the teeth become infected. The toxins in addition to the body’s immune system response erode the tissue and bone holding the teeth in place. Eventually the tissues are destroyed and the teeth become loose and fall out. In some cases, a periodontal abscess can form next to the tooth when the body’s immune system reacts to prevent the spread of infection.
Individuals can easily detect the signs of gum disease, which include the following symptoms:
– Gums that are inflamed and red
– Gums that bleed while brushing
– Gums that are receding away from the teeth
– Loose teeth
– Pain while chewing food
– Chronic bad breath
To treat gum disease, a dental professional will often use a method called scaling to remove tartar from the surface of teeth. This cleaning takes place both above and below the gum line. Root planing is a technique that eliminates rough areas on the root to prevent the accumulation of germs.
Dental professionals will often prescribe various medications to control the infection in the mouth. Antiseptics and antibiotics can eliminate bacteria while reducing the size of any periodontal pockets developing around the base of the teeth. Enzyme suppressants will eliminate those substances produced by the body’s immune system, which can attack gum tissue and cause it to break down.
Patients who continue to have symptoms after a dentist performs deep cleaning may have to undergo surgical treatment. Flap surgery involves making an incision in the gums to remove underlying tartar. Sutures hold the tissue in place during healing and the result is a tighter fit around the tooth and a reduction in the periodontal pocket. Tissue and bone grafts are necessary to promote growth when the patient experiences loss due to disease.
Before you let lack of oral care develop into something more serious and if you live in the area known as the Treasure Coast of Florida, be sure to call for an appointment with one of the dental experts at Family Dentistry of Stuart to have your teeth professionally cleaned. Cleanings are recommended twice annually and are followed by a thorough examination by the dentist for any signs of gum disease or other oral problems.
See what treatments the best Dentist West Palm Beach dentists have developed that are designed specifically to help you benefit from great oral health treatments so that you may steer clear from periodontal problems.