Can I Live a Long Life with Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal Disease

Treatment is the key to living a long, healthy life with periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is not life-threatening. However, because it’s a progressive disease, leaving the condition untreated means setting yourself up for serious health issues down the road. The chance of tooth loss is much higher among people with periodontal disease. And so is the risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions.

Don’t feel discouraged! You can live a long life with periodontal disease if you manage the condition with treatment and guidance from your dentist. As with any chronic condition, the earlier you seek therapy, the better your chances are of curing gum disease and improving your quality of life.

Why is gum disease so severe?

Periodontal disease is the most advanced form of gum disease and develops when bacteria and plaque multiply on the teeth and gums. This buildup leads to an infection and inflammation of the delicate gum tissue.

Gum disease may initially cause swelling and bleeding of the gums. But the infection and inflammation spread deeper over time into the gums and even the bone. At that point, a tooth can become loose and fall out because it has lost its support structure.

Other signs of periodontal disease include pus-filled pockets on the gums, bad breath, and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. A tooth may appear elongated as the gums pull away from it.

Poor dental hygiene habits top the list of risk factors for gum disease. Smoking, chronic conditions such as diabetes, and genetics also raise the chances of developing periodontal disease. 

While gum disease primarily affects the gums, it can also impact the rest of your body. Harvard Health notes the presence of gum disease elevates the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or other serious cardiovascular events by two to three times. As such, treating periodontal disease at its earliest signs is essential.

How to treat periodontal disease?

Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, so it’s most treatable with non-surgical procedures such as scaling and root planing to remove all bacteria from the gums and root of the tooth. Combined with proper oral hygiene, gingivitis can be reversed.

If periodontal disease isn’t treated during the earliest stages, it will continue to damage the gums and bone. The good news is that even at more advanced stages, you can manage periodontal disease with surgical treatments, such as bone and tissue grafts. Those procedures can replace most lost bone and gum tissue and remove bacterial infections. Unfortunately, they cannot completely restore the support tissues and bones around the tooth. To ensure your gums stay healthy, you must closely monitor your oral health via frequent dental checkups.

Tips to prevent gum disease

Good oral hygiene is the simplest and best way to avoid periodontal disease. Brush and floss daily to reduce the amount of plaque and bacteria on your teeth and gums. Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash. 

Get professional teeth cleaning with a dental hygienist twice a year. And visit your dentist at the first signs of gum disease. As mentioned earlier, early treatment can reverse gingivitis.

Lifestyle changes can also prevent gum disease. For example, sugar and starch supercharge the growth of bacteria in the mouth, so limit those foods if you can. Quitting smoking is also good for your gums and your heart, which will help you live a long, healthy life.

For healthy gums, see your local Espire dentist

Schedule an appointment at Espire’s La Mesa location today! Our highly trained dentists can spot the earliest signs of gum disease and start you on a successful treatment plan. Don’t live near our La Mesa, CA, office? Find one of our other locations near you.

La Mesa, CA
8555 Fletcher Parkway
Suite 102 
La Mesa, CA 91942