women looking at gums in mirror

Periodontal Disease: Signs, Treatment, and Prevention Advice

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 47% of American adults over the age of 30 have periodontal disease. As a condition that affects so many, it is essential that you recognize the signs of periodontal disease, how to prevent it, and the treatment options available.

Read on as your team at Progressive Periodontics explains all you need to know.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a bacterial infection of the gums and bone surrounding your teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss.

The early stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. This is when your gums become red, swollen, and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can be treated with a professional cleaning and good oral hygiene at home.

If gingivitis is not treated, it can progress to periodontitis. This is when your gums begin to pull away from your teeth, pockets form between your gum line and teeth, and your teeth may become loose. The bones and connective tissue that support your teeth can also be destroyed.

Periodontitis is not reversible, but it can be controlled and slowed down. If you have periodontitis, you will need to see a periodontist for treatment.

Signs & Symptoms

The first step in effective treatment is identifying that you have periodontal disease. As the condition progresses, you may experience:

  • Unexplained bleeding while brushing, flossing, and eating
  • Tooth and gum pain
  • Redness and swelling of the gums
  • Unusually bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • A change in your bite
  • Pus around the teeth and gums
  • Longer-appearing teeth and gum recession

As soon as you begin to notice these symptoms, it is essential that you take action and contact your periodontist at Progressive Periodontics. We will be able to help you form a treatment plan in order to ease the pain and recover.

Treatment

There are a variety of treatments available for those suffering from periodontal disease.

The severity of your case will determine the best course of action, but some common methods include:

  • Professional Cleaning. In the early stages of gingivitis, a professional cleaning will help prevent further disease development.
  • Scaling and Root Planing. A deep cleaning that removes tartar, bacteria, and plaque both above and below the gum line.
  • Antibiotics. Oral or topical antibiotics may be prescribed to help control the infection.
  • Surgery. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to restore the gum tissue.

Prevention

The best way to combat periodontal disease is through preventative care. Brush and floss your teeth every day to remove harmful bacteria that can lead to periodontal disease. Scheduling a dental cleaning at least once a year will allow for plaque removal and monitoring of your oral health. It is also important to eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water.

There are certain individuals who may be at a higher risk of developing a periodontal disease based on certain habits or conditions. These risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Family dental history
  • Crooked teeth
  • Female hormonal changes
  • Defective fillings and bridges
  • Immuno-deficiences
  • Dry mouth caused by medications

Read more: How Can I Prevent Periodontal Disease?

Oral Health Care in Tigard, OR

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, or are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease, don’t hesitate to reach out to our periodontist team for an evaluation and to begin your treatment as soon as possible.

Periodontal disease is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly. However, with early detection and proper treatment, you can minimize the damage and prevent future problems. Contact us today by calling (503) 966-3780 to schedule your next appointment!

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