Periodontal disease is another term for gum disease. It is a serious oral health condition that affects not only your gums, but your teeth, their supporting structures, your jawbone, and even your overall health. When gum disease forms, getting treatment right away is essential. Southern Arizona Periodontics can diagnose periodontal disease and provide you with the treatment you need to stop its progression and restore the health of your mouth.
The Formation of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease forms as a result of a bacterial infection in your mouth. Throughout the day, plaque and bacteria accumulate on your teeth. These substances produce harmful acids that irritate your gum tissue. This irritation triggers an inflammatory response from your immune system, which causes the gums to swell.
Swollen tissue begins to pull away from your teeth, leading to the formation of periodontal pockets. Bacteria begin to accumulate in these pockets. The pockets grow deeper as your tissue continues to pull away. Bacteria eventually reach your periodontal ligaments and your jawbone, causing these supporting structures to weaken. Your infected gum tissue begins to die off as well, causing gum recession. Your teeth become loose, and they may even fall out.
Causes of Periodontal Disease
There are a few different causes of periodontal disease. Common causes include
- Poor oral hygiene practices. Brushing and flossing, as well as professional dental care, are essential for preventing periodontal disease. Even occasionally being lax in your oral care can increase your risk.
- Crooked teeth. Crooked teeth provide ideal hiding places for bacteria and plaque, and are difficult to clean properly.
- Using tobacco products. Tobacco products slow your blood flow and interfere with your immune system.
- Having dry mouth or xerostomia. This is a condition in which you do not have enough saliva in your mouth. Your mouth becomes the perfect environment for bacterial growth.
- Poor nutrition. A poor diet can prevent your immune system from functioning properly.
- Hormonal changes. Changes like pregnancy and menopause affect how your gums react to plaque.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
There are many symptoms of periodontal disease. The symptoms you experience depend upon how advanced the disease is.
- Gums that are red and swollen.
- Your gums bleed when you brush and floss your teeth.
- Bad breath that does not seem to go away.
- Receding gums.
- Tooth sensitivity.
- Unstable teeth.
- Tooth loss.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
When you notice symptoms of periodontal disease, it is important to seek treatment right away. The earlier periodontal disease is detected, the easier it is to treat. There are several treatments available. During your consultation, we can determine the severity of your periodontal disease, and provide you with a treatment that will provide the best results. Treatments include:
- Scaling and root planing.
- Periodontal maintenance.
- Pocket reduction surgery.
- Osseous surgery.
- Soft tissue and bone grafting.
Periodontal disease is a serious issue, but it can be treated. Moreover, after treatment, a good oral hygiene routine and lifestyle changes can help you to prevent it from returning. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call Southern Arizona Periodontics at 520-322-9300 today.