Periodontal disease is quite common and affects approximately 50% of all Americans over the age of thirty. It is not a small dental issue that can be overlooked as it is a leading cause of tooth loss for adults. And it is more than just a tooth issue, periodontal disease has been linked to Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, pancreatic cancer, strokes, and even more. You might be wondering what are some symptoms of periodontal disease? And you’ll be surprised when you discover you are experiencing a few yourself. Below we will discuss what periodontal disease is, the causes, symptoms, stages, and when it might be time to see your dentist for treatment.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal, on its own, means around the tooth. Periodontal disease is also referred to as periodontitis which is a disease of the gum that surrounds your teeth and jawbone that keep your teeth in place. Periodontal disease begins when bacteria forms in the mouth and when left untreated, can lead to tooth loss.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
The primary cause of periodontitis is bacteria found in plaque that does not get treated. This bacteria bonds with mucus and other particles to create plaque on our teeth. When the plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing, it becomes hard and creates tartar. In order to get rid of the bacteria, our immune system will release defense cells that cause the area around your teeth to become inflamed. When our gums swell, they pull away from our teeth and create tiny pockets that become the perfect home for bacteria to settle.
Common Causes That Lead To Periodontal Disease Include:
- Clenching and/or grinding teeth
- Hormonal Changes
- Poor Nutrition
- Smoking or other tobacco use
What Are The Stages Of Periodontal Disease?
First is gingivitis. This is the inflammation of the gums without bone loss. It is a milder form of periodontal disease that can be reversed with treatment. Fortunately, not all gingivitis will progress to periodontal disease. With gingivitis, plaque forms on the teeth which causes the gums to become inflamed, but at this point, the teeth are still secure in the sockets. When left untreated, gum inflammation can cause gum disease.
Then comes periodontal disease. This occurs when the destruction has made its way to the underlying bone. The pockets that were created by gum inflammation grow deeper and more gum tissue and bone are impacted as a result. As time progresses, teeth can begin to loosen and fall out due to the lack of support.
What Are Common Symptoms Of Periodontitis?
- Gums that bleed easily when you brush and floss
- Swollen and/or tender gums
- Deep pockets between teeth and gums
- Gums that are pulling away from your teeth
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Pus between gums and teeth
- Constant bad breath or taste in your mouth
- New spaces forming between your teeth
Is It Time To See A Dentist?
Many people might be unaware that they have periodontal disease as it can be painless. Using x-rays to conduct a periodontal evaluation is the best way to determine if you have the disease and for creating a plan to treat it. If you have been avoiding the dentist for a long time or if you have any of the symptoms discussed, it is time to see your dentist. Being proactive in taking care of your periodontitis will not only provide you with a healthier mouth but it will also positively affect your overall health as periodontal disease has been linked to several other health issues.
At Torbeck Dental, we help our patients prevent, diagnose, and treat periodontitis. Routine cleaning and checks-ups, in addition to minimally invasive treatments will help keep your teeth and gums protected from periodontitis.
Your inflamed, sensitive gums could be the start of periodontal disease, do not wait until your teeth start falling out to go to the dentist– contact Torbeck Dental today!
About Torbeck Dental
Torbeck Dental treats every patient with dignity and excellent care. We are highly trained dental professionals with exceptionally friendly and helpful service. We understand that for many, visiting a dentist can be a stressful experience so our comfortable surroundings and compassionate staff will ease any fears you may have. We are here to help you achieve your happiest and healthiest smile! Our dental team are a group of experienced professionals using the latest treatments. Our team has the professional experience to realize that there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all treatment, so we never use a one-size-fits-all approach to your dental plan. We provide quality and personalized oral health care while keeping your individuality in mind. Our goal is to improve and maintain your oral health so you can smile with confidence!