Periodontal disease impacts gum tissue leading to the potential for tooth loss if not caught and treated. Although heredity can play a role in who may be more susceptible, there are many ways to be proactive in preventing the onset of gum disease. But if your dentist indicates the need to see a periodontist, make sure you follow through for needed treatment.
Neglect – Daily brushing and flossing coupled with visits to the dentist for cleaning are needed to keep plaque from building up on teeth. Plaque that is allowed to grow on teeth is a leading cause of gum disease (and dental decay).
Tobacco Use – Research has proven that using tobacco in any form can be deadly; but in addition to damage to your overall health, tobacco users are much more likely to suffer from periodontal disease.
Diet – Foods and beverages high in sugar and carbs promote plaque formation. Consuming crunchy fruits and vegetables is good for teeth. Add dairy, proteins, and healthy grains for the basis of a healthy diet. An occasional treat is okay, but should not be considered daily fare. Soda and sugary beverages should be limited – water is a much better daily choice. For variety add fruit or citrus to flavor water.
Bleeding gums – If your gums bleed without provocation, this is an early sign of a potential problem. If gums bleed when brushing, consider using a soft bristle toothbrush and less pressure. Investing in an electric toothbrush allows for thorough cleaning – the toothbrush does all the work – you just need to make sure you reach all tooth surfaces.
Chronic bad breath – Certain foods and beverages can result in bad breath, but if you are experiencing a sour smell consistently, this may be an indicator infection is present.
Teeth pulling away from gums – Or if a tooth feels loose, this is serious. Bone loss may already be occurring; treatment is needed right away.
Your periodontist may begin treatment with root planing and scaling. This procedure involves a deep cleaning to remove plaque from deep beneath the gum line. Infection may be treated with antibiotics. If gum disease has advanced to periodontitis, more extensive action may be required including surgery to help restore dental health.
Gum disease is preventable; brush and floss daily and see your dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning and exam. Contact our office to learn more about the dangers of periodontal disease and how to treat it!