You Can Protect Yourself from Gum Disease with Regular Checkups
Periodontal disease is the technical term for gum disease, and it is certainly not uncommon. Gum disease is an infection that progressively affects the tissues and bones surrounding your teeth. It ultimately causes the gums to pull away from the teeth and leave gaps that can become infected. As bacterial toxins are released from the infection, the body responds to the infection by breaking down the bone structure and connective tissue that keep our teeth in their proper place. Eventually the affected teeth will become loose. They will either fall out or have to be removed. Periodontal disease has also been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, and pregnancy complications.
How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?
This can be challenging to discern without a trip to your dentist’s office. Periodontal disease does not always display clear symptoms. This is part of what makes regular checkups, cleanings, and x-rays so important.
What Treatment Options Are Available for Gum Disease?
Different options are available and will be chosen based upon the severity of your condition.
Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease
These symptoms do not necessarily guarantee that you have periodontal disease, but they are definitely warning signs and should be checked out by your dentist.
- Bleeding gums after regular brushing and flossing
- Gums that are red, swollen, or tender
- Gums that have receded (pulled away from your teeth)
- Persistent bad breath
- Pus exuding between the teeth and gums
- Teeth that have become loose
- A change in your bite or denture fit
How Can I Prevent Periodontal Disease?
- Consistent, daily oral hygiene will greatly reduce your risk
- Brush and floss at least twice each day
- Good nutrition will help your teeth and gums
- Be consistent with regular dental check ups
If it becomes necessary for you to receive periodontal treatment, you will likely need more frequent dental checkups afterward. The periodontal disease will make it more challenging for you to keep the affected areas clean. Your dentist may recommend cleanings as often as every two to three months. Research has demonstrated that thorough periodontal maintenance after treatment will aid in more effective elimination of periodontal disease.