Have you ever experienced painful gums, or noticed swelling in the tissue around your teeth? If the answer is yes, you may have periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. This common affliction is caused by a buildup of bacteria in the gums surrounding the teeth. From the professionals at King Town Dental, here’s everything you need to know about periodontal disease:
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Despite what you may think, the human mouth is filled with bacteria. These bacteria can build up over time to form a colourless, sticky substance known as plaque. This can harden into tartar—a substance that can only be removed by a dental professional. Often, these bacteria can cause pain and inflammation of the gums, also known as gingivitis. Symptoms of gingivitis include red and swollen gums, irritation, and bleeding of the gums when brushed. This is a mild form of periodontal disease, and can be reversed with regular brushing and cleaning from dental professionals.
If gingivitis goes untreated, it can eventually lead to periodontal disease—a much more serious affliction. This condition consists of the gums pulling away from the teeth and causing small pockets, which are susceptible to infection. Plaque continues to build up under the gums, and can eventually lead to the complete deterioration of the bone and gums holding the teeth into place. In serious cases, the teeth may become loose or need to be removed.
Who Is at Risk?
Smokers. If you smoke, your chances of developing gum disease are significantly higher than non-smokers. Smoking may also reduce the efficacy of treatment.
Diabetics. Individuals with diabetes have a higher risk of developing illnesses, especially gum disease.
Pre-teens During Puberty. Hormonal changes and imbalances in the body can increase sensitivity in the gums and put these individuals at a higher risk of developing gingivitis.
Genetic Susceptibility. If it runs in your family, you may be at a greater risk of developing gum disease.
How Do I Prevent Periodontal Disease?
Fortunately, there are many ways you can prevent this painful and irritating condition. Here are just a few:
- brush teeth after meals to remove food and prevent plaque buildup
- floss at least once per day
- use mouthwash after brushing teeth
- take age, habits, and genetics into account to determine your susceptibility to gum disease
- visit a dental professional for annual check-ups
At King Town Dental, we provide clients with top-quality dental services in a relaxing environment. To learn more about the effects of periodontal disease, or to book an appointment, get in touch with us today. Our patients are our most valuable assets, and we strive to develop a trusting and long-lasting relationship with all of them.