What is Periodontal Disease

While most of us have heard of gum disease, most of us don’t’ know periodontal disease, but it’s actually something of big concern. It’s caused by plaque and it takes a bit for you to get to the point where you have this issue, but let’s talk a little bit about the culprit.

Your culprit is something called gingivitis, which is a condition that involves inflammation of the gums and gingiva that surrounds the teeth, and it’s caused by the plaque developing there.  Usually, you see red, swollen gums along with bleeding ones, which you see at the dental exam.  Bad breath is another result of this, and usually, it can happen for a variety of reasons, whether it be puberty, pregnancy, or even plaque that’s there.  This will in turn intensify the disease as well.

Gingivitis is usually the most common form of this.  This is the inflammation of the gums,  and while usually it can be treated, it’s very hard to make go away.

Gingivitis can be prevented however, and there is no bone loss around the development of this, and if you’re treating this and preventing this beforehand and it doesn’t take too long to do this.  Usually, soft toothbrushes, especially ones that are battery powered, can be used twice daily to decrease the chance of developing this. Flossing also reduces the development of this, along with other small hygienic practices, rinses, and even water picks and interproximal cleansing devices that can be used on this.  If you have this condition, you can use different toothbrushes, and other types of items in order to ensure that you get the job done.

Of course, another way to do it is to see the dentist once a year in order to ensure that have all of your oral hygiene taken care of, since this is one of the best ways to prevent this kind of condition.

But what happens if you don’t take care of it? It then turns into periodontitis, which is another bigger problem, and it’s about ten times worse than what gingivitis does.

Periodontitis is something that is caused by bacterial plaque, and it can cause the bone support within the teeth and it can be treated or prevented, but the damage won’t be reversed.  This causes red, swollen gums, and it can cause bleeding. The formation of the pockets that are around the teeth might also happen, which is defined as the opening area around your teeth gums.  This deepening of the pocket is part of bone loss, and it can lead to tooth loss.

Those who smoke develop a major risk factor, but also those with uncontrolled diabetes, obesity, genetic susceptibility, or even poor oral hygiene are all at risk for developing this.  This does cause tooth loss, but also creates various systemic issues and an increase of heart disease as well. 

There is also the prevention however that you can do, and prevention is something that you should always consider.  If you’re not able to get it fully reversed, at least take care of it right away.  You should make sure that you take care of it through deep cleanings, scaling and root planning, and d you might need bone surgery, bone and gum grafts, or even implants in some cases.

However, the biggest problem, is that while it is controlled, it’s never fully cured. If you have it, you’re out of luck, and that’s something you should remember. The best way to prevent this is to see your dentist for annual cleanings, and make sure that you’re taking care of it.