Periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and more
Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, starts in the form of gingivitis. Patients’ gums are red, swollen and bleed easily, especially when brushing and flossing. Left untreated, the gingivitis will often progress into periodontal disease.
Once periodontal disease is present, pockets will form along the gum line and the soft tissue will begin to pull away from the teeth. The pockets will fill with plaque and bacteria and infection will spread below the gum line. The result will be soft tissue damage and weakening of the bone that holds the teeth in place. If left untreated, teeth may fall out or have to be removed.
If you are experiencing bad breath or bleeding gums, you may have gingivitis or periodontal disease and should make an appointment with a dentist.
Ideally, you will prevent gum disease in the first place. Follow these simple steps to help prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease:
Brush. Brush your teeth after meals to remove food and plaque between your teeth and gums.
Floss. Floss at least once per day. It helps remove food and plaque between teeth and along the gum line.
Rinse. Using mouthwash can help to reduce plaque and food particles that you may have missed during brushing and flossing.
Understand risk factors. Smoking, your diet, genetics and your age can all contribute to periodontal disease. Discuss these factors with your dentist, and he or she can help you plan lifestyle changes to help address them.
Visit your dentist. One of the best ways to stay ahead of gum disease is by maintaining a regular dental check-up routine. Visit your dentist twice a year (or more often, as directed). He or she can spot the warning signs of periodontal disease and help you prevent its effects.
Contact us if you have questions regarding periodontal disease or if you would like to set up an appointment at our Centennial dental office.