- Periodontitis is a severe oral disease caused by poor oral hygiene and bacterial buildup.
- Symptoms include swollen and tender gums, bad breath, bleeding, and loose teeth.
- Risk factors include smoking, poor nutrition, and genetic predisposition.
- Treatment involves regular cleaning and oral exams, scaling and root planning, and possibly surgery or medication.
- Maintaining good oral hygiene and managing stress and chronic illnesses are crucial in preventing periodontitis.
Oral health is crucial for our overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, too many people neglect their oral health and suffer from dental problems like periodontitis. Periodontitis is a common dental problem with severe consequences if left untreated. Here’s everything you need to know about periodontitis.
What is Periodontitis?
Periodontitis is a severe oral disease that affects the soft tissues and bones that support your teeth. It usually happens due to poor oral hygiene that allows bacteria to build up and cause inflammation. Over time, the inflammation can damage the gums, bones, and other structures that hold your teeth in place. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and other serious health issues if left untreated.
The symptoms of periodontitis can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Common signs include swollen and tender gums, bad breath, bleeding during brushing or flossing, receding gums, and loose teeth. In more advanced cases, pockets may form between the teeth and gums.
Certain people are more vulnerable to this disease than others. Here are some risk factors you need to know:
Poor Oral Hygiene
The primary cause of periodontitis is plaque buildup, a sticky, colorless film that forms on teeth’ surfaces. If not removed through daily brushing and flossing, plaque can eventually harden into tartar. Once the calculus forms, it can only be removed by a dentist. If left untreated, bacteria can quickly multiply under the gums, causing inflammation and eventually leading to tooth loss. So, this makes daily oral hygiene a vital part of preventing periodontitis.
Smoking and Tobacco Use
Smoking and tobacco use are significant risk factors for periodontitis. Not only does it stain your teeth, but also damages your teeth and gums. Smoking decreases blood circulation in the gums, impairs healing, and lowers the effectiveness of treatments. So, if you’re a smoker and neglecting your oral hygiene, you’re far more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers.
Believe it or not, your diet plays a massive role in oral health. Consuming sugary or starchy food and drinks can increase the risk of gum disease. A diet low in Vitamin C can also seriously damage your gums. The body needs this vitamin to repair and maintain healthy gum tissue. Therefore, a well-balanced diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits is crucial to keeping your gums healthy.
Age and Genetics
Age and genetics play an essential role in our overall oral health. Gum disease is more prevalent in older adults because, over time, the gums naturally begin to recede. Meanwhile, genetics can also influence the likelihood of developing gum disease. If someone in your family has or has periodontitis, you’re more likely to develop it too. Therefore, oral hygiene is essential, regardless of age or genetic predisposition.
The more teeth you lose due to periodontitis, the higher your risk of developing gum disease. Bacteria and viruses can live in your open gums, spreading and attacking your remaining teeth. So make sure to visit a teeth replacement service to help you out. They can install dental implants on your gums and securely place an artificial tooth in the area.
Stress and Chronic Illnesses
Chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer can damage your immune system, affecting your gum health. Coping with stress can also increase the risk of developing gum disease. The stress hormone cortisol reduces the body’s ability to fight off infections like periodontitis. Therefore, managing stress and maintaining good health are vital to prevent gum disease.
It’s possible to treat periodontitis, but it requires dedication and commitment. Here are some treatments to deal with periodontitis:
Regular Cleaning and Oral Exams
The most important part of periodontitis treatment is regular cleaning and oral exams. Poor oral hygiene can lead to more plaque buildup, tartar, and an increased risk of infection. Visiting a dentist every six months for professional teeth cleaning is the best way to keep your gums healthy.
Scaling and Root Planning
You may need scaling and root planning if the condition has progressed beyond regular cleaning. During this procedure, a dentist or dental hygienist will remove plaque deposits from the roots below the gum line. Then they’ll smooth out any rough surfaces on your teeth to help prevent future bacteria buildup.
Medication or Surgery
Occasionally, antibiotics or other medications may be prescribed to combat inflammation and infection. Surgery may also be needed if the gum tissue has been significantly damaged.
Sometimes, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help reduce the bacteria in your mouth. Depending on your needs, these medications can come in topical gels or pills.
Ultimately, periodontitis is a severe oral health condition that requires immediate attention. If you suspect you have it, visit your dentist for an evaluation and treatment plan as soon as possible. Taking proper precautions can protect yourself against this dangerous dental disease and maintain healthy teeth and gums for life!