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  • What is Periodontal Disease?

    Periodontal Disease

    Our friends at Star City Dental have some great info on periodontal disease to share.

    Did you know? Periodontitis affects roughly one-third of the US population (Shaddox LM, Walker CB)? When periodontitis is diagnosed early, it avoids more challenging and severe stages of the disease.

    What Is Periodontal Disease?

    For starters, periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth.

    What Is The Difference Between a Dental Cleaning and a Deep Cleaning?

    Similar to dental cleaning, deep cleaning involves the removal of plaque and buildup. The difference is that a regular one is completed every six months for maintenance, while a deep cleaning involves cleaning buildup below the gum line to treat advanced gingivitis (also called periodontal disease).

    It’s a more in-depth cleaning that involves going deeper down the gum line, and the tooth root – the procedure is also called scaling and root planing. Deep cleaning treatment is necessary when bacteria and buildup develop below the gum line, which can lead to periodontal disease and tooth loss.

    How Does Periodontal Disease Develop?

    Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. There are a wide variety of bacteria that are normally found in our mouths. When certain types of bacteria outgrow others, this starts the process of gum disease. Plaque is a colorless film that sticks to your teeth at the gum line that constantly forms on our teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing, you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease. Periodontal diseases can be accelerated by a number of different factors. However, it is mainly caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque, a sticky colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).

    Gum disease is a silent, chronic, painless, and communicable bacterial infection that often goes undetected or ignored until severe gum and bone destruction is unbearable and no longer able to be ignored. Left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss and traditional treatment can hurt.

    What Are Common Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?

    The following are common signs and symptoms of gum disease:

    • Red or swollen gums
    • Tender or bleeding gums
    • Painful chewing
    • Bad breath or bad taste that won’t go away
    • Loose teeth
    • Sensitive teeth
    • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
    • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
    • Any change in the fit of partial dentures

    How Do Gum Diseases Affect My Overall Health?

    As mentioned, periodontal disease is a progressive condition that can affect one’s oral and overall health. Studies have shown that gum disease can be related to other health issues such as diabetes and heart disease. According to the ADA, individuals who experience strokes and high stress are more likely to develop gum disease. Be sure to talk with one of our team of dental professionals to ensure you have a game plan for maintaining healthy oral care and overall care.

    How Long Can You Keep Your Teeth with Periodontal Disease?

    Bacteria found in plaque produce toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this accumulated bacteria leads to tooth loss.

    Is Gum Disease Curable?

    The best way to prevent gum disease is through effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.

    Patients who experience gum disease can know that it is a treatable infection, especially when caught in its early stages. If you notice symptoms such as bleeding gums, DO NOT IGNORE! It is important to take an aggressive approach and contact our team.

    How to Reverse Periodontal Disease Naturally?

    We encourage routine healthy habits to keep your oral health in tip-top shape. Below are just a few healthy habits that can help:

    • Visiting your Lincoln dentist regularly
    • Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes each time and flossing once a day to ensure the teeth and gums remain healthy
    • Healthy eating habits – avoid sugar-filled sodas, sweetened fruit drinks, or non-nutritious snacks that increase the risk of tooth decay
    • Avoid tobacco as it can harmful to gums and teeth
    • Medications can affect oral health because some lessen the flow of saliva, which has a protective effect on teeth and gums.

    Periodontal Disease & Orthodontics

    Orthodontic treatment, such as braces or aligners, can help correct misaligned teeth and improper bites. When teeth are correctly aligned, it becomes easier to maintain good oral hygiene. Straight teeth are easier to clean, reducing the likelihood of plaque and tartar buildup, which are contributing factors to periodontal disease. Dr. Willett will provide guidance on proper oral hygiene to minimize the risk of periodontal disease during treatment.

    Every patient’s gum disease treatment will depend on various factors, including your personal health history and the current stage of your gum disease.

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