Periodontitis: An In-Depth Guide to What It Is, Causes, Symptoms, Types, and Prevention

Periodontitis: An In-Depth Guide to What It Is, Causes, Symptoms, Types, and Prevention

Aug 06, 2021

Have you ever noticed the sink has some hints of blood after you have brushed your teeth? If so, have you been to our periodontist’s office to get checked? If not, you should, because there is a chance that you have periodontitis or gum disease.

Not so long ago, tooth loss was attributed mainly to old age. However, gum disease has now taken that spot. It is estimated that almost half of the adults above 30 years in America are suffering from gum disease.

Gum disease shouldn’t be taken lightly. This is because it can result in tooth loss and is also linked with other diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Hence why you need to seek periodontal treatment in Columbia, MD.

Gum Disease 101

In dentistry, the term periodontal means around the tooth. Therefore, as the name suggests, it is a disease that affects the gums, ligaments, or bones surrounding your teeth. In the early stages, you will experience gum inflammation, bleeding, or tender gums. This is what is called gingivitis.

But, when the infection spreads and starts affecting the surrounding tissue, it is known as periodontitis or periodontal disease. This causes gum recession, bone loss, and eventually tooth loss.

Periodontal Disease Causes

Did you know that your mouth is a whole ecosystem, home to lots of bacteria? So, whenever you have your favorite meal, bacteria will also enjoy the remnants of the food in your mouth in a matter of minutes.

If you don’t brush or floss your teeth, you will notice a sticky film forming on your teeth’s surface. This sticky substance is made up of food debris, saliva, and bacteria, known as plaque. Once it hardens, then it forms tartar.

If you don’t visit our dentist for a cleaning, tartar will build up along the gum line; then, you will start experiencing severe oral issues. Tartar makes your teeth porous, thus enabling more plaque buildup. Then, plaque hardens to form more tartar, and then the cycle begins. The toxins released by the bacteria cause inflammation. Then, your body will attempt to fight back and ends up breaking down and destroying the tissue and bone supporting your teeth.

Besides plaque, some risk factors can cause periodontal disease, such as:

  • Hormonal changes, especially in puberty or during pregnancy
  • Medications
  • Illnesses
  • Bad habits such as smoking
  • Family history of gum disease

What Are the Warning Signs?

Most people are not aware that they have gum disease since pain isn’t one of the glaring symptoms at the onset of the disease. However, you need to peel your eyes for the following periodontal disease symptoms:

  • Bad breath
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Red, tender, swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Feel pain while chewing
  • Abnormal tooth sensitivity
  • Receding gums

Don’t hesitate to seek periodontal treatment in Columbia, MD, once you have noticed the above symptoms.

Types of Gum Disease

There are six types of gum disease:

This is the initial stage of the disease that is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Usually, this is caused by poor oral hygiene. At this stage, you can reverse the effects with proper oral care.

When gingivitis isn’t dealt with, it advances to periodontitis. It affects the jaw bone and surrounding tissue.

Aggressive Periodontitis
This represents the rapid progression of the disease. Gingival ligaments, gingival tissue, and bone destruction happen at an advanced pace.

Systemic Periodontitis
This type of gum disease happens due to systemic diseases such as heart disease or diabetes.

Chronic Periodontitis
This is the inflammation of the supporting gum tissue and is characterized by gingival pockets and gum recession. Deterioration happens slowly.

Necrotizing Periodontal Disease
This occurs to people who have systemic diseases that cause the death of the gingival and surrounding tissue.

How to Prevent Periodontitis

As you might know already, periodontitis is a severe disease. However, gum disease prevention is possible. You can adopt the following habits:

  • Brush your teeth. Always brush your teeth after enjoying your meals. Remember to clean your tongue
  • Floss at least once each day to remove plaque and food particles between teeth
  • Use a mouthwash. Antimicrobial mouthwash is a good investment that can help remove food particles stuck between the teeth that flossing and brushing missed
  • Know your risk. Smoking, age, diet, and genetics are risk factors that increase your chance of getting periodontal disease. So, if you are at risk, talk to our periodontist
  • See our dentist. You may need to get a comprehensive periodontal evaluation at least once each year. This examination will entail looking at your plaque levels, gums, bone structure, bite, and any other risk factors related to periodontitis.

Contact our periodontists at Model Dental Clinic if you need gum disease treatment in Columbia, MD.

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