Periodontal disease is a common oral health condition. It encompasses a range of gum infections that, if left untreated, can have severe consequences on oral health. Although periodontal disease can vary in severity, it is crucial to address it promptly. Understanding the causes, recognizing the symptoms, and exploring the available treatment options are essential in managing this condition.
At George Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we provide periodontal disease treatment in Hermitage, TN, to help get rid of gum disease, and tooth decay, and enhance your dental and oral health. Our Hermitage, TN dentist, Dr. Brian George, is well-informed on periodontal disease, its causes, symptoms, and treatment.
Let’s delve into the various aspects of periodontal disease, shedding light on its causes, the signs and symptoms to watch out for, and the treatments that can help manage and alleviate its effects.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an inflammatory condition that impacts the gums and the supportive structures surrounding the teeth. It occurs due to the accumulation of bacteria and plaque on the teeth and gums. If bacteria and plaque are allowed to accumulate in the mouth, it can lead to damage to the gum tissues and tooth-supporting structures.
How common is periodontal disease? This question often arises among individuals concerned about their oral health. While precise statistics may vary, a significant portion of the global population is affected by this condition, highlighting the importance of awareness, prevention, and early intervention.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Gum disease is caused by various factors that contribute to the inflammation and damage of the gum tissues, bones, and ligaments that hold teeth in place. Let’s explore the causes of periodontal disease to understand how to prevent or treat this condition.
- Poor Oral Hygiene: When we fail to brush and floss regularly, food particles combine with bacteria in the mouth to form a sticky film of plaque on teeth. Over time, this plaque hardens into tartar which irritates the gums, causing them to pull away from the teeth. This leads to inflammation of the gum tissues, resulting in periodontal disease.
- Poor Nutrition: A diet low in essential nutrients such as vitamins C and D can weaken the immune system, causing the gum tissues to become more susceptible to infection. Additionally, diets rich in sugar and carbohydrates can encourage bacterial growth and plaque buildup on teeth, leading to gum disease.
- Hormonal Changes: Hormonal changes in women during pregnancy, menopause, and menstruation can increase the risk of periodontal disease. Hormonal imbalance affects the blood supply to the gums, causing them to become more susceptible to infection.
- Underlying Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions like diabetes reduce the body’s ability to fight infections, leading to a higher risk of gum disease. Similarly, people with weakened immune systems due to cancer treatment, HIV/AIDS, or other medical conditions, are at higher risk of developing periodontal disease.
- Genetics: Some people have a genetic predisposition to gum disease, making them more susceptible to the disease. Research has shown that some genetic variations affect the immune system’s response to bacterial infections in the gums, increasing the risk of developing periodontal disease.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
To properly diagnose and treat gum disease, it is important to be aware of the symptoms associated with this condition.
- Bleeding Gums: Bleeding gums occur when brushing or flossing, or even when eating hard or crunchy foods. Bleeding gums indicate the presence of inflammation and should not be ignored. If left untreated, gum disease can progress and cause the gums to recede, exposing the tooth roots and causing additional dental problems.
- Red or Swollen Gums: This may not be immediately noticeable but can become more apparent over time. The gums may be tender or painful to the touch, and it may be uncomfortable to eat or drink. If left untreated, this symptom can contribute to the destruction of gum tissue, leading to tooth loss and other oral health issues.
- Halitosis: Halitosis, a medical term for bad breath, occurs due to the buildup of bacteria in the mouth, which can lead to an unpleasant odor. While bad breath can be caused by a variety of factors, persistent halitosis should be evaluated by a dentist to determine if gum disease is the underlying cause.
- Tooth Sensitivity: The roots of the teeth may become exposed as the gums recede, making it painful to eat or drink hot or cold foods and beverages. This sensitivity can be persistent and may require treatment to alleviate it.
- Receding Gums: As the gums recede, the teeth may appear longer and may become loose or unstable. This can occur gradually over time, making it important to monitor the health of the gums to prevent tooth loss and other complications.
With proper diagnosis and adequate periodontal treatment in Hermitage, TN, you can bid gum disease and its symptoms farewell.
What to Do When Noticing Symptoms of Gum Disease
While gum disease may seem like a minor issue, it can lead to serious complications if left untreated. Therefore, it is essential to know what to do when noticing symptoms of this condition.
Upon noticing the signs of gum disease, it is important to maintain good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing the teeth regularly can help remove plaque from the teeth and gums, preventing the buildup that contributes to gum disease. Visiting our dentist in Hermitage, TN, regularly can ensure that the teeth and gums are properly cleaned and inspected, reducing the likelihood of gum disease developing.
Another way to deal with gum disease is to make changes to one’s diet. Consuming foods and drinks high in sugar and carbohydrates can contribute to the buildup of plaque and bacteria in the mouth, leading to gum disease. Therefore, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains can help keep the mouth healthy and reduce the risk of gum disease.
In more severe cases, treating gum disease may require professional intervention. A dentist may recommend more advanced treatments, such as periodontal scaling and root planing, or periodontal surgery.
Periodontal scaling and root planning involve removing plaque and tartar from the teeth and roots, while periodontal surgery is used for more severe cases, such as restoring recessed gums. Regardless, our gum disease treatments in hermitage, TN are reliable and effective.
Effective Gum Disease Treatment in Hermitage, TN
How is periodontal disease treated? The treatment of periodontal disease typically involves a combination of professional dental procedures and diligent oral hygiene practices at home.
At George Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer effective periodontal disease treatment in Hermitage, TN, to help eliminate even the slightest form of gum disease and other oral health issues. We provide a wide variety of gum disease treatments in Hermitage, TN, including advanced laser gum disease treatment. Our dental team is experienced and committed to providing the highest quality care and gum disease treatment.
We believe that everyone deserves to enjoy strong, healthy teeth and gums, and we are here to help you achieve that goal. Contact us today to learn more about our periodontal disease treatments and schedule a consultation.