Gum disease, clinically referred to as periodontal disease or periodontitis, is often called the “silent disease” of the mouth because most people don’t know they have it. It’s the leading cause of tooth loss in the developed world and is linked to health problems like psoriasis, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and others.
You can control your oral health and avoid gum disease. Your at-home oral hygiene is the first and most important defense against gum disease, especially when paired with regular dental exams. Hires Dental Care in Toledo, OH is your partner in the fight against periodontal disease. Learn more about the steps you can take to protect your oral health.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is the infection of the gum tissues and jawbone. Oral bacteria can work their way into gum tissue and activate the body’s immune response, leading to inflammation. These bacteria can also spread to other areas of the body, such as the heart or brain.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Bacteria are always present in our mouths, most of it harmless. These naturally-occurring bacteria combine with leftover food particles and mucus on the teeth to form plaque. The plaque that isn’t removed by brushing and flossing hardens and forms tartar.
The immune system releases defense cells to try to get rid of the bacteria, causing inflammation in the areas around the teeth. As the gums swell from the inflammation, they pull away from the teeth, which creates small pockets that allow more bacteria to settle in.
Gum disease is not necessarily the result of poor oral hygiene. Some other factors leading to periodontal disease include smoking, poor nutrition, stress, teeth grinding, or even hormonal changes such as pregnancy or menopause.
What Are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?
- Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
- New spaces between teeth
- Pus between teeth and gums
- Chronic bad breath or constant bad taste in the mouth
- Swollen, tender, or bleeding gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
Stages Of Periodontal Disease
Many people have had the first stage of periodontal disease, which is gingivitis. Not all gingivitis progresses to gum disease, but if your gums bleed easily when brushing, you may need to see your dentist. In this stage, teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets, but plaque has built up near the gums and they have become inflamed. This stage is mild and reversible.
Periodontal disease is diagnosed when the destruction has reached the underlying bone. The pockets created by gum inflammation deepen and more gum tissue and bone are affected. Eventually, due to loss of support, the teeth can become loose and fall out.
When You Should See a Dentist
Many people don’t realize they have gum disease, which is one reason why regular appointments with your dentist are so important. X-rays allow your dentist to see the teeth and jawbone and ensure they are firmly in place. In most cases, gum disease can be prevented, offering lasting positive effects on your oral and overall health.
Periodontal Disease Treatment in Toledo, OH
Hires Dental Care can help you prevent gum disease and offer periodontal screenings at every preventive visit. Regular cleanings and check-ups combined with minimally invasive treatments will protect your teeth and gums from periodontal disease for years to come. Don’t wait to find out if your bleeding gums are an early sign of gum disease! Schedule with us online or call us at 419.365.2217 today.