Periodontal disease is another term for gum disease. This common oral health condition is the chronic inflammation of your gum tissue. In addition to affecting the health of your gums, this condition also affects the health of your periodontal ligaments, your jawbone, and your whole body. When you have periodontal disease, you can be faced with serious consequences including gum recession, loose teeth, and tooth loss, which could lead to a need for full mouth reconstruction. At The Dentists at North Cypress, we can help with periodontal treatment.
One of the most common causes of periodontal disease is poor oral hygiene practices. The ADA recommends brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. It is also recommended that you have your mouth cleaned and examined professionally at least twice annually. Being lax in any of these habits, even occasionally, can lead to an accumulation of plaque and bacteria, greatly increasing your risk for complications. Other causes of periodontal disease include:
• Crooked teeth. When your teeth are crooked, your teeth are more difficult to clean properly. Bacteria have more places to hide and grow. • Tobacco products. Tobacco products slow blood flow, which slows the delivery of essential nutrients to your gums. The chemicals contained in tobacco products interfere with your immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight off infections. • Dry mouth. Dry mouth is a condition in which your mouth does not have sufficient saliva, leaving your mouth feeling tacky. Without enough saliva, bacteria are better able to grow. Dry mouth can be caused by many different issues, including alcohol consumption, certain medical conditions, and certain types of medications. • Changes in your hormones. Hormonal changes, such as pregnancy and menopause, impact your immune system as well, leaving you more vulnerable to periodontal disease. • Poor nutrition. Lacking certain nutrients, or having a poor overall diet, can impact your immune system and prevent your body from effectively fighting bacterial attacks.
Gum disease starts as a result of a bacterial infection. As bacteria attack your gums, they become irritated and swollen. Eventually, swollen tissue begins to pull away from your teeth, which leads to the formation of pockets. Pockets collect more plaque and bacteria, which continue to attack your gums from the inside. Pockets grow deeper, and the bacteria are soon able to attack your periodontal ligaments and your jawbone. Over time, your gums begin to recede, and your teeth become loose. You may even be faced with tooth loss. Bacteria can also enter into your bloodstream, increasing your risk for issues such as heart disease and diabetes.
The symptoms of periodontal disease vary depending on how advanced the disease has become. Symptoms include:
• Gums that are red and swollen.
• Bleeding when you brush and floss your teeth.
• Chronic bad breath.
• Gum recession.
• The formation of small spaces between your teeth.
• Sensitive teeth.
• Loose, wobbly teeth.
• Losing your teeth.
The exact treatment you receive for periodontal disease depends on how advanced it is. Treatments include:
• Scaling and root planing.
• Pocket reduction surgery.
• Osseous surgery.
• Soft tissue grafting.
• Bone grafting.
When periodontal disease develops, getting treatment right away is essential. Call The Dentists at North Cypress today at (281) 664-8100 for more information and to schedule your appointment.