Otherwise known as gum disease, periodontitis is a severe infection that can lead to tooth and jaw bone decay. Periodontitis is a common disease and is easily preventable. In fact, 75% of Americans have a form of gum disease. However if periodontitis is left unchecked, it can cause irreversible damage to your gums, teeth, and bone.
Is Periodontitis Preventable?
Luckily, periodontitis is a completely preventable disease. Periodontitis is caused by poor oral hygiene. Periodontitis can be avoided by making sure to brush your teeth morning and night or after each meal, flossing daily, using mouthwash, attending your dental appointments on a regular basis based on your dentist’s recommendations, and switching out your toothbrush every 2-3 months.
What Are The Causes of Periodontitis?
While poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of periodontitis, it is also possible for periodontitis to be caused by other issues. Possible causes of periodontitis include stress, smoking, aging, illness or genetics. It is important to understand these other causes of periodontitis so that if the symptoms of gum disease arise, you will understand that it may not be directly linked to your oral hygiene and you will be able to catch the disease early.
What Are The Symptoms of Periodontitis?
The first indication that you are experiencing early periodontitis is gingivitis. According to the Mayo Clinic, gingivitis is a common condition where the gums become swollen
and inflamed. Your gums will be tender and bleed if prodded. This is the stage that can be reversed, so see a dentist as soon as possible to receive treatment. Other symptoms include receded gums, pus, periodontal pockets and bad breath.
What Happens if Periodontitis Goes Untreated?
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontitis, which as stated before is essentially where the gums become inflamed and is caused by plaque buildup. After a few weeks if the gingivitis is not taken care of it can progress to slight periodontal disease. Slight periodontal disease is where the infection has spread to the bone and the gums start receding.
While irreversible, slight periodontal disease is manageable and can be treated with scaling and root planing. If you reach the slight periodontal stage or the next stage (periodontal stage) then it is crucial to visit the dentist to create a plan to try to salvage your teeth. The last stage is advanced periodontitis, which is where your gums and the bone beneath your teeth are severely damaged and the bone loss has increased sharply. At this point, the teeth may need to be removed.
How is Periodontitis Treated?
Scaling and root planing is a process used to deep clean the gums of bacteria to hopefully prevent further damage to the bone. Scaling involves removing excess plaque and bacteria from your teeth and periodontal pockets. Root planing is where the dentist levels out the top of the teeth so that the gums can heal and refasten to the teeth. Infected issues and possibly teeth might have to be removed in more serious cases.
Contact Us For More Information About Periodontitis
We are eager to answer all your dental questions here at Hendersonville Family Dental! With educated, trained professionals and many excellent services, we have many resources available to you. Contact us if you want to learn more about periodontitis, schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.