What is a periodontal disease?
The word periodontal means “around the tooth”. Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth.
What is the prevalence of periodontal disease?
Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it! Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.
How do periodontal diseases develop?
Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone.
What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is characterised by
- Bleeding gums: Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
- Loose teeth: Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone)
- New spacing between teeth: Caused by bone loss
- Persistent bad breath: Caused by bacteria in the mouth
- Pus around the teeth and gums: Sign of an infection
- Receding gums: Loss of gum around a tooth
- Red and puffy gums: Gums should never be red or swollen.
- Tenderness or discomfort: Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.
What are the consequences of periodontal disease?
Not only is it the number one reason for tooth loss, research suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy. Researchers are determining if inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease affects these systemic diseases and conditions. Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease.
How can I prevent periodontal disease?
Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.