Periodontal disease: Signs and treatment methods

brushing teeth

Periodontal disease is one of the most common diseases of the mouth, and many people will experience it at some point in their life. One of the most common signs is bleeding gums, so if you noticed this while brushing your teeth, don’t hesitate to visit your dentist.

Although there are plenty of causes for this disease, it’s good to know what the signs are so we can prevent it, and learn about the treatment, so we can avoid continuous problems later on.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontitis or better known as gum disease is a serious infection of the gums. It is caused by a bacterial infection that damages the soft tissue, and if not treated can destroy the bone that supports our teeth which can lead to tooth loss.

One of the main causes of periodontal disease is the bacteria buildup around the gums, and if not removed by a regular oral routine of brushing and flossing, it causes gum inflammation. Some of the causes might also include genetics, medical conditions, stress, hormones, smoking, and many more.

What are the signs?

This disease ranges in severity from swelling of the gums to more severe infection. Many people confuse gingivitis and periodontitis, but gingivitis is defined as inflammation around the tooth that occurs when tartar and plaque buildup on the teeth. If not treated, it leads to periodontitis which is most likely to develop in adults aged 30 years and older. Some of the signs include:

Bleeding gums

Bleeding gums while brushing your teeth is one of the first warning signs of gum inflammation. This means your gums are sensitive and brushing causes them to bleed. If you notice this, make an appointment with the dentists and make sure you follow their treatment method.

toot ache

Bad breath

Bad breath can sometimes be due to problems with the stomach, but can easily be seen as one of the most common signs of periodontal disease. The bacteria causes the tissue to rot, creating foul-smelling breath. If you’ve tried a couple of methods but the problem persists, you have likely developed periodontitis, and you should see a dentist right away.

Sensitive teeth

Have you noticed that your teeth are sensitive to cold food and drinks? This is also a leading sign that you might have periodontitis. It’s a sign that usually goes together with shrinking gums because if your gums are receding, the sensitive part of the tooth is exposed, causing an uncomfortable feeling when exposed to cold air and water.

Shifting or loose teeth

This disease can attack the bones that hold your teeth in place, making them move or loosen. It can even change the way your teeth fit together when biting. When the gums pull away from the teeth it creates pockets where bacteria can build up and makes the process even more painful.

Treatment methods

Although there are many unavoidable causes for periodontal disease, there are always treatment methods available so you can start treating your teeth immediately. Remember, you should never wait to get treated because negligence can lead to loss of teeth. The goal is to control the infection. These are some of the treatment methods:

Professional cleaning and antibiotics

If you’ve noticed some of the symptoms the best thing to do is to visit your dentist. They will remove tartar and plaque buildup from the teeth and their roots, and then polish them. So, remember to have a regular dental cleaning every 6 to 12 months if you want to avoid further symptoms and help from preventing gum disease.

Sometimes, your dentist might prescribe some antibiotics after cleaning to help with persistent gum infections that have not responded to cleanings. This can be in the form of oral tablets, gel, or a mouthwash.  

Oral hygiene practice

Remember to brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes and floss at least once a day. With regular hygiene, you will prevent the development of an environment around the teeth that is favorable to specific bacteria that cause periodontitis.

If you notice that you’re not brushing your teeth the right way, your dentist can give you advice on how to improve. And if you’re a smoker, you could consider quitting.

Final thoughts

Periodontal disease can be very tricky and uncomfortable, so keeping it under control is your best choice in preventing further health problems. Never wait to visit your dentist if you notice any of the signs because in doing so you can prevent the disease from further developing. And this way you might also treat gingivitis before it progresses to gum disease. You can learn more about periodontal disease and gum surgery by the Dentist in Ballwin by booking a consultation now.