What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease (also called gum disease) is a bacterial infection of the gums and connective tissues that support the teeth (periodontal ligaments). Periodontal disease develops when plaque and tartar accumulate along the gum line, creating pockets where harmful bacteria thrive.
Periodontal disease usually develops as a result of the following poor oral hygiene habits:
- Neglecting to brush and floss daily
- Not brushing or flossing properly
- Missing professional dental cleaning appointments where teeth can be scaled and polished to remove hard tartar buildup
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease can cause the following signs and symptoms:
- Red and/or swollen gums
- Gums that bleed easily
- Receding gums
- Pus in the gums or between the teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Oral pain or tenderness
- Loose teeth
- Tooth loss
- Halitosis (persistently bad breath)
Unaddressed, periodontal disease can lead to the deterioration of the periodontal ligaments and the jawbone that supports your teeth, resulting in tooth loss and the need for bone grafts.
The Dangers of Periodontal Disease
The harmful bacteria from periodontal disease can be breathed in or even enter the bloodstream, resulting in inflammation throughout the body and a whole host of physical issues.
Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to an increased risk of developing the following general health problems:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Heart infections
- Respiratory infections
- Kidney disease
- Reproductive issues
- Rheumatoid arthritis
To reduce the risk of dental issues and general health problems associated with periodontal disease, maintain a good oral hygiene routine at home and visit the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.
Periodontal Disease Treatments at Eastgate Dental Excellence
If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, our dentists will recommend an individualized treatment plan based on your symptoms.
Depending on how advanced your case of periodontal disease is, your treatment plan might include a combination of the following gum disease treatments:
- More frequent professional dental cleanings and checkups
- Root scaling and planing to remove tartar and plaque accumulation from the roots of teeth
- Bone grafts to restore deteriorated jawbone
- Dental implants to replace lost teeth
If diagnosed with a serious case of periodontal disease, we might also recommend scheduling a checkup and health screening with your regular healthcare provider to test for the potential development of secondary health concerns.
How to Prevent Periodontal Disease
Like most oral health problems, periodontal disease is best prevented before it occurs. To protect your teeth, gums, and body from the dangers of periodontal disease, our team recommends visiting the dentist at least once every six months for a professional cleaning and checkup, in addition to practicing good oral hygiene habits at home.
To learn more about gum disease treatment or to schedule a checkup at Eastgate Dental Excellence, we welcome you to contact our office today.
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3241 Mount Carmel Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45244