This four-part article series provides an in-depth look at periodontal (gum) disease: what it is, how it presents, how it can be prevented and what treatment options are available for those who have it.
Welcome back to our four-part article series in which All On Four dental implants specialists discuss periodontal (gum) disease, its signs and symptoms and what we can do to prevent this frightfully common oral affliction. In our previous post, we took a look at the mouth under the microscope in an effort to better understand the mechanisms of periodontitis. In this article, the third installment of the series, we will be listing the symptoms of gum disease before addressing what can be done to prevent it.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?
In the beginning stages of periodontitis, gingivitis, you may notice one or more of the following:
• Red and inflamed gums,
• Swollen, fleshy and angry-looking gums, especially visible between the teeth,
• Chronic bad breath,
• A bad taste in your mouth that comes back soon after brushing,
• Gums that tear and bleed easily when brushing, flossing and eating crunchy foods.
If left undiagnosed and untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis at which stage the symptoms (in addition to those mentioned above) can include:
• Gums that have receded unnaturally from the crowns of the teeth, causing your smile to appear “toothy”,
• Oral sores and lesions that don’t heal,
• Pus that wells up from under the gums,
• Visible accumulations of plaque and tartar on and between the crowns of the teeth,
• Tooth discoloration and a brown mottling of the gums, especially at the margins,
• Teeth that feel loose,
• Ultimately, tooth loss.
“Never ignore any of these signs and symptoms,” urge dental implant specialists in Houston. “In spite of the damage gum disease is capable of doing, it doesn’t typically cause patients pain, so do make sure that you pay attention to the visible health of your teeth and gums. Your gums should look pink and they should never bleed when you brush or floss them.”
How Can You Prevent Periodontal Disease?
The great thing about periodontal disease is that it is completely preventable. Even if you have a family history and fall within a high-risk bracket for this condition, there are measures you can take to keep your teeth and gums in excellent lifelong condition. Most importantly, you must maintain a rigorous home oral hygiene routine that includes regular and thorough brushing, flossing and rinsing. You could even make use of an anti-bacterial mouthwash to really keep your mouth fresh and clean after daytime snacks.
You must also go for regularly scheduled check-ups with your dentist and cleanings with an oral hygienist. It is recommended that you do so twice a year. Habits to avoid or seek treatment for include:
• Tobacco-use: Smoking and chewing tobacco is known to cause gum disease,
• Excessive drinking,
• Eating disorders,
• A diet that is high in sugar and starchy foods.
Also, always ask your doctor about the side effects of any chronic medications you may be on. Some are known to cause “dry mouth”, which can leave you at a greater risk of oral bacterial infection. Hormonal fluctuations, such as those experienced during menopause or pregnancy, need to be handled with additional oral hygiene measures and care.
Stay Tuned for Part 4
Stay tuned for the final installment of this four-part article series in which dental implant in Houston specialists explain the various treatment options available to those who suspect that they may have gum disease.