Periodontitis is a severe gum disorder that can lead to tooth loss, bone loss, and other serious health complications. Here’s what you can do if you have periodontitis.
Periodontitis, a severe bacterial infection of the gums, affects about nine percent of adults. It’s the most advanced form of gum disease, but most people don’t realize the significance of it until it’s too late. Not only can periodontitis lead to tooth loss, but it has also been linked to other serious health problems. Fortunately, it can be managed with timely treatment and good oral hygiene habits.
What’s the deal with periodontitis?
When you eat sweet and starchy foods, the bacteria in your mouth converts into a sticky film called plaque. Daily brushing and flossing can remove most of the plaque on your teeth and gums, but if the plaque remains in your mouth, it forms a hardened substance called tartar.
Tartar irritates the gums, leading to chronic inflammation. But it also attracts more bacteria, which infects your gums. As the bacterial infection grows, it weakens the gum tissue and bone that secures the tooth. Without the support of the surrounding gums and bones, the tooth can loosen and may even fall out.
Periodontitis can also cause several other painful symptoms, ranging from swollen, bleeding gums and bad breath to receding gums. Pockets of infections or pus between teeth can also develop along with periodontitis. In addition, the condition has been linked to other serious health disorders, such as cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, preterm birth, and low birth weight.
How to prevent periodontitis
Poor dental hygiene is the leading contributor to periodontitis, but smoking and a diet low in vitamin C can also increase one’s risk of the condition. Those with diabetes or who take medications that cause dry mouth also have an elevated risk of gum disease.
Fortunately, you have treatment options if you’ve been diagnosed with periodontitis. For instance, gum tissue and bone grafts can strengthen the bond between teeth and gums to prevent tooth loss. But if you want to avoid dental surgery, start by taking good care of your teeth with these tips:
Brush and floss daily. Brushing and flossing regularly can remove most of the bacteria and plaque on your teeth and gums. Clearing away the plaque means it has less chance of forming into damaging tartar.
Treat gingivitis. Gingivitis is the earliest and mildest form of gum disease. Red, puffy gums and bleeding when brushing and flossing are the first signs of irritated gum tissue. Gingivitis is treated with a thorough cleaning known as scaling and root planing. With treatment and good oral hygiene, gingivitis won’t progress to periodontitis.
Get twice-year cleanings. While brushing and flossing can help keep bacteria and plaque away, a dental hygienist can remove the buildup of tartar. The best preventative measure against periodontitis is attending your dental cleaning twice a year.
How are your gums doing?
Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Norman, Oklahoma, location today! Our highly trained dentists can examine your teeth and gums for any signs of gum disease and suggest the best treatments. Don’t live near our Norman, OK, office? Find one of our other locations near you.
550 24th Ave. S.W.
Norman, OK 73069