If you suffer from periodontal disease, you are not alone. In fact, 47.2 percent of American adults age 30 and older have some form of this disease, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC). Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is one the greatest threats to dental health. If you think you might have this problem, here are some common warning signs and treatments.Periodontal disease symptomsMany people who have periodontal disease and don’t know it, because it can be completely painless. Therefore, it’s important to be alert to these common red flags:
- Bleeding gums when you brush and/or floss
- Inflamed gums
- Gums that recede, making the teeth look longer
- Chronic bad breath
- Teeth that are loose, separate or fall out
- Painful chewing
- Tooth sensitivity
If you have any of these signs, see a dentist right away so that the infection can be controlled. How periodontal disease is treated largely depends on the extent of the disease. Some of the treatments include:
- Scaling and root planing—This procedure entails a dentist removing plaque by using a deep-cleaning treatment. Scaling refers to tartar being scraped above, as well as below, the gum line. Root planing removes rough spots on the root of the tooth where bacteria and germs can accumulate.
- Antimicrobials, which are antibiotic drugs, can be directly delivered into the periodontal pockets to repress and eliminate bacteria. Arrestin is the antimicrobial that’s commonly used in today’s dental market.
In some cases, surgery is required to prevent additional damage to the teeth and gums. When non-surgical methods have not been successful, your dentist may recommend: flap surgery, which allows the dentist to perform a deep cleaning in pockets that have formed in the gums; bone and tissue grafts, which helps encourage new gum or bone tissue growth where either have been damaged by periodontal disease; or tissue regeneration, which uses a mesh-like fabric between the bone and gums to allow bone and connective tissue to grow.
- Most people don’t have any signs of periodontal disease until they reach their 30s or 40s.
- Men are more susceptible to having gum disease than women
- Smoking is a high risk factor in developing periodontal disease and smoking can reduce the odds of treatments being effective.
- Diabetics have a high risk for getting periodontal disease, as well as other infections.
- Female hormonal changes can cause gum sensitivity, encouraging the development of gingivitis.
- Some over-the-counter and prescription medications can make it hard to keep gums and teeth clean. As a result, periodontal disease can develop because there’s a lack of saliva.
- Once you’ve been treated, it’s even more essential to practice good, at-home oral hygiene. Brush and floss after each meal, and use fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash.
Contact Dour office to set an appointment today. As a Colorado dentist serving the Centennial area, I spend time with each patient so that they can make informed decisions about their dental treatments. Knowing our patients lead busy lives, we offer appointments that begin early in the morning and run late into the evening.