Periodontal Disease: Signs That You Need To Visit Your Dentist
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an extremely common disease in dentistry that may go unnoticed for some time unless you attend routine dental checkups and cleanings. Periodontal disease is often the cause of bad breath.
Periodontal disease affects the supporting structures of the teeth. Your teeth are held in place firmly by bone, ligaments and gum tissue, and when plaque and bacteria become stuck on your teeth, these supporting tissues start to experience inflammation.
When your gums are inflamed you may notice bleeding when brushing or flossing, increased sensitivity and pain, or a change in the colour and texture of your gums from a healthy pink to a bright red or even slightly purple colour. This inflammation of the gums is called gingivitis. To treat gingivitis, excellent oral hygiene and home care is key. Visiting your dentist to have the excess bacteria or plaque removed will allow your gums to heal and return to a healthy state without any further damage to the other supporting structures.
If gingivitis is not treated early and the gums remain in a state of inflammation for a prolonged period of time, the bone and ligaments will be affected as well. This will result in them beginning to pull away, which reduces the amount of support there is for the tooth. This is called periodontitis. Once the bone has deteriorated, it does not generally grow back, making the advanced stages of this disease a serious and challenging condition to treat.
As the disease progresses, the gums and bone recede a surprising amount resulting in teeth becoming loose and even being lost. When the teeth are loose, the lack of support means that regular daily activities place more pressure on them than is typical, which increases the risk of the tooth dying off, becoming infected and causing pain.
Periodontitis is a debilitating disease with early symptoms that can be difficult to recognise if you don’t have experience in oral health care, which is one of the many reasons why it is so important to see your dentist for regular check ups. If people miss the warning signs of bleeding gums and bad breath, they may not realise there is even a problem. This silent destruction of the supporting tissues can go unnoticed until teeth are quite loose and painful to chew on, at which point a significant amount of damage has already been done.
Unfortunately, periodontal disease is a lifelong process that requires vigilant care and maintenance. Treatment is thorough cleaning in the space between your tooth and gums that harbours the destructive bacteria, at which point the gums are then allowed to heal. Once the gums have healed, prevention of bacteria forming into plaque and calculus is key to stop the destruction from continuing. Regular cleanings at your dentist along with excellent home care is the best for your gums and will also help prevent other oral diseases such as cavities and can also prevent bad breath!
If you have not been to the dentist in a while, have bad breath, or loose teeth, we highly recommend going to the dentist for a check-up. Your dentist will examine your teeth and check your gums for periodontal disease. If they suspect periodontitis, they will perform an x-ray as they are integral in diagnosing and managing periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is extremely common and routine dental visits and a good dental clean will help prevent this disease and keep you smiling! If you are looking for a kind and experienced dentist in the Coolum area, give Dentistry on Coolum a call on 07 5446 1616 or book an appointment online.