Periodontal Disease and You

Periodontal disease is one of the most common dental conditions for adults. In America alone half of adults under the age of 65 have periodontal disease, and after the age of 65 the amount of Americans with this preventable disease increases to 70 percent. As one of the most prevalent conditions with the most dire consequences we here at your Melbourne, Florida dental practice strive to educate our patients about how they can prevent the development of periodontal disease, and how their dental future will look if they do become one of the millions of people affected.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Not all gum inflammation is created equally and you do not just develop periodontal disease overnight. Periodontal disease only occurs if nothing is done about gum inflammation or gum disease. Our gingival tissue is one of the toughest in our entire body. It resists bombardment of bacteria every day and helps keep our teeth in our jaws so we can eat, speak, and smile. When we neglect our oral health routine our gums often take the full force of the blow. Gum disease is caused by bacteria that is left on the teeth and gums over time. Our body sends out immune responses on a daily basis to protect itself from this harmful bacteria, but it can only do so much. It is up to us to continually remove the bacteria that grows in our mouth and is fed by the sugars in the food we eat. When the bacteria becomes too much for our immune system to deal with we can develop gum disease. This is marked by puffy gums that bleed when flossed or brushed. Gum disease is reversible after a trip to the dentist followed up by pristine oral care. By brushing and flossing every day you can stop the bacteria from reproducing and infecting your gums, and give your immune system a break. If you do not take care of your teeth while you exhibit symptoms of gum disease it can easily develop into periodontal disease. The symptoms are the same, but the steaks are a great deal higher. A person who is suffering from periodontal disease will experience: puffy, bleeding gums, foul breath, and tooth loss. Tooth and bone loss is the pinnacle of periodontal disease and can affect a person for their entire life because this advanced stage of gum disease is irreversible.

Treating Periodontal Disease

Most patients are alerted to the fact that they have periodontal disease after seeking advice from their Melbourne, Florida dentist. They notice that their teeth hurt, may feel loose, and that their gums seem to bleed alot while giving off a bad odor. The bacteria that causes periodontal disease is causing the bone to disintegrate and severely altering the patient’s bone and tissue structure. To treat this your dentist will have to perform a sometimes invasive procedure called scaling and planing. This is a deep cleaning that removes infected tissue and built up bacteria from under the gums. Once this tissue is removed, the body’s immune system will no longer have to expend energy fighting off the infection. This can give the mouth a moment of reprieve, however the bacteria will be back and the only thing that can prevent the disease from progressing further is a modified home oral health routine and repeated, frequent visits to your dentist for periodontal therapy.  

If you are already suffering from periodontal disease you will already understand the lifestyle changes that accompany its maintenance. Mindfully brushing your teeth followed up by correctly flossing them can help you prevent deteriorating your condition any further. However there are several other risk factors that contribute to periodontal disease, and by understanding them you can help better maintain the health of your mouth.

Smoking – Smoking is the largest risk factor in developing periodontal disease. The constant barrage of heat and carcinogens breaks down the oral microbiota and can facilitate the growth of harmful bacteria. By quitting smoking you can reduce your risk of worsening your periodontal disease, and positively impact your overall health.

Hormone Changes – Female hormones play a large role in the oral health of women. During monthly and lifelong fluctuations of estrogen and progesterone women can experience bouts of increased susceptibility to periodontal disease and flare ups of symptoms. Keeping in touch with your dentist during these times is important for maintaining oral health after periodontal disease and during therapy.

Medication – Many medications have symptoms that can increase the risk of developing or worsening periodontal disease. Speak with your dentist about the medications you are taking to understand how they may affect your periodontal therapy and the health of your mouth.

If you have questions about the progression of periodontal disease, don’t hesitate to contact your Melbourne, Florida dentist. Beginning treatment and therapy can prevent the loss of tooth and bone tissues. Living with periodontal disease doesn’t have to be hard, contact your dentist to understand your condition and options today.