Here are the answers to popular FAQs about periodontal diseases
By the time they turn 45, 80% of Americans suffer from one or more periodontal diseases requiring surgery. However, 4 out of 5 patients do not realize that they are affected by a dental issue. Adhering to a proper dental care routine can help reduce the risk of developing periodontal issues to a great extent.
This article answers all your important questions about periodontal disease.
What Are Periodontal Diseases?
- The prolonged infection of gums that eventually destroys the support structure of natural teeth is referred to as periodontal disease. From the alveolar bone to the periodontal ligament, cementum, and gingiva, periodontal infections can affect one or more periodontal tissues.
Periodontal diseases are divided into two types: gingivitis and periodontitis. Although gingivitis is the mild form of the disease, if left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis.
What Are the Common Causes Of Periodontal Diseases?
- Dental plaque is the primary cause of gingivitis for patients genetically susceptible to developing periodontal disease.
- The sticky, colorless layer mainly made of different types of bacteria and food particles are called plaque. Plaque continues to form on your teeth even after cleaning. It sticks to the teeth at and below the gum line. Over time, plaque can damage the gums, thus leading to periodontal diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis.
- The bacteria found in plaque release an acid which tends to irritate the gums, leading to inflammation, redness, swelling, and bleeding. When the gums are constantly affected by the acid, they begin to separate from the teeth, and pockets or spaces form.
How Does The Disease Progress?
- Gradually plaque hardens and turns into a porous, rough substance known as calculus or tartar. Calculus can build above or below the gum line due to neglected dental hygiene. Gingivitis can progress into periodontitis, deteriorating the supporting bone and gum tissue that holds your teeth in place. Thus, leading to tooth loss.
Periodontal diseases develop slowly without being noticed. Only a few patients feel discomfort or pain while the disease keeps progressing. Smokers do not experience redness, swelling, or bleeding. Regular dental exams and thorough dental care are crucial for preventing periodontal disease.
When Does The Treatment Become Necessary?
- Treatment becomes necessary as the periodontal disease starts affecting the support system of the teeth, including the gums or jawbone. Unhealthy gums lead to aesthetic issues at first, followed by gum recession, swelling, and redness as the disease progresses.
The supporting bone begins to deteriorate in the advanced stages of the disease. As a result, teeth will become loose, shift, or fall out in severe cases. Periodontal disease affects your smile, confidence, and ability to chew and speak. To prevent tooth loss, treating the condition as soon as possible is crucial.
What Happens When You Lose Teeth?
- There are several negative consequences of missing teeth. Loss of teeth affects the aesthetics of your face. The gaps created by missing teeth affect your smile and confidence. In addition, if too many teeth are lost, the skin around the mouth begins to sage due to a lack of support. As a result, patients appear older than they are.
Moreover, missing teeth make it harder to chew food properly and can affect the way you speak. There are emotional consequences of tooth loss as well. Patients may become self-conscious and avoid socializing. Therefore, it is essential to have regular dental exams so that signs of periodontal disease can be detected and treated before the disease progresses any further.
Improve your oral health today by treating and reversing your gum disease. Our experts at Icon Dental Center can help you determine the treatment needed to keep periodontal disease at bay. If you have questions or want to improve your gum health, contact us at 206-225-2882. Our clinics are located in Seattle and Everett.