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What is Periodontal Disease?

Oct 3, 2018 · Filed under Education

Dr. Kyle Carney

Periodontal Disease is one of the more common dental ailments, and not enough people know about it. So, we wanted to take the opportunity and inform you about what might happen if you don’t take proper care of your teeth.

Dr. Kyle Carney

So, what is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal Disease is the infection of structure around the teeth caused by bacteria in plaque. The symptoms are varied but recognizable. If you have periodontal disease, your gums will be swollen and red and feel very tender. You might even have bad breath, a toothache, and potentially loose teeth.

There are two common periodontal diseases. One is Gingivitis. If you’re diagnosed with this, it means the gum at the necks of the teeth, also known as where your teeth touch gums, has become infected. Periodontitis, the other main periodontal disease, is an infection affecting the bone and tissues of the teeth themselves.

Potential Causes

One thing people don’t often realize is that periodontal disease can be genetic. If your parents had or have it, you are far more likely to contract this disease. However, many negative behaviors can affect that probability as well, including smoking and poor nutrition. Some medicines, such as Phenytoin, Cyclosporine, and Nifedipine can also add to the risk. Periodontal diseases are also connected to other health issues such as strokes, diabetes, or even heart disease (keep an eye out on our blog for a follow-up on the connection between dentistry and cardiovascular health!). Another risk factor is just stress. Your body can react in strange ways to external stresses, and your teeth are a part of that! If you’re mindful of your overall health while brushing, flossing, and attending normal dental appointments, you should be able to avoid periodontal disease.

Treatments

However, if you do contract either Gingivitis or Periodontitis, the treatments are pretty straightforward. There’s straight up self-care, including tooth polishing and general oral hygiene. Medications are also used, including topical antiseptic, Penicillin, and antibiotics. Lastly, if the disease is far enough along, there are two types of surgery: Gingivectomy, when an oral surgeon cuts away infected part of the gums, and gingivoplasty, the surgical reshaping of gum tissue around the teeth.

As you might be able to tell, there’s no specific cure, but periodontal disease can be prevented and controlled by good oral hygiene habits, nutrition, and avoiding tobacco products. And, of course, regular dentist visits and deep cleanings are important to keep gum disease under control.

Dr. Robert Hortman

If you recognize any of these symptoms, please get in touch immediately so we can address any concerns. If you just want to set up regular appointments, check out our online appointment form. We hope you feel a bit more informed!

Dr. Robert Hortman

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