About Periodontal (Gum) Disease
Periodontal disease affects more than 80% of Americans by age 45, and 80% of patients are unaware they have it. Gum disease happens when plaque and bacteria build up on teeth and reach below the gumline, causing inflammation and damaging gum tissue. If left untreated, the simple gum inflammation, called “gingivitis”, may progress to a more advanced disease called “periodontitis” with symptoms such as pain, bleeding, bad breath, and tooth loss. If teeth are loosened or lost, chewing may be more difficult and painful. The ability to communicate, smile, and speak may also become more challenging. Therefore, the effects of gum disease can be very damaging to your overall health.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by daily tooth brushing and flossing, along with regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately for some people, even with the most diligent home dental care, periodontal disease may still develop. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to slow down its progression.
Other factors that may imperil gum health include uncontrolled cardiovascular disease, uncontrolled diabetes, tobacco usage, stress, clenching and grinding of teeth, medications, poor nutrition, osteoporosis, and pregnancy.
We are an important part of your program to prevent gum disease and to help you keep your teeth throughout your lifetime.
When to see a Periodontist?
If you experience any of these symptoms, we encourage you to schedule an appointment for a consultation.
Difficulty chewing and/or swallowing
Related health concerns
Signs of any type of growth
A sore, lump or lesion that fail to heal and bleeds easily
Women & Periodontal Health
Throughout a woman’s life, hormonal fluctuations may affect tissues throughout the body. The fluctuations tend to occur during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. During these times, special care of your oral health is required to minimize the chance of periodontal disease.
If oral contraceptives (synthetic hormones) are taken, they may contribute to swelling, bleeding and tenderness of the gums. It is important to always mention any prescriptions you are taking, including oral contraceptives, prior to medical or dental treatment. This will help prevent risk of bad drug interactions, where the effectiveness of the contraceptive can be lessened (such as antibiotics with oral contraceptives).
Research suggests that periodontal disease may be linked with other systemic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pregnancy complications, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, kidney disease, and certain types of cancers.
The American Academy of Periodontology recommends that you obtain a comprehensive periodontal evaluation to assess your gum health at least once a year.