Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease of the gums and bony structure of the jaw, where the bacteria found in plague, which is a bacterial bio-film, causes inflammation of the gums. Plaque builds up on the teeth and irritates the gums, where they are in contact with the teeth. Over time, the disease can lead to the loss of teeth, as well as a number of other heath issues, as the bacteria grows and spreads to other parts of the body.
There are a number of symptoms of periodontal disease including red, swollen or sore gums, as well as a general pain or tenderness in the mouth. In some cases, the gums will also bleed during brushing, flossing and even eating! Other symptoms include receding gums, loose teeth, “gapping” of teeth, the presence of puss or other discharge from the gums, the presence of oral sores, constant bad breath, changes of the fit of partial dentures and a noticeable change to the bite.
The presence of one or more of these symptoms may indicate the presence of periodontal disease, however, only a highly trained and experienced dentist, specializing in periodontal disease, is capable of making that determination, based upon a thorough dental exam. Periodontal disease is, in most cases, completely preventable by exercising proper at home dental care including brushing, flossing and the use of anti-plaque mouthwashes. In addition, it is recommended that a bi-annual dental exam and teeth cleaning occur, as well as a yearly visit to a dentist, who specializes in periodontal care. As with any other disease, prevention is the key!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Michael Juban, Juban Dental Care
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