Periodontal disease affects more than three-fourths of all people, regardless of race, nationality, or socioeconomic levels. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.
Signs of gum disease.
- Gums bleeding when brushing the teeth
- Red and swollen gums. Tender gums
- Gums pulling away from the teeth, exposing roots and creating recessions
- Pus between teeth and gums. Sudden swellings that are painful to the touch
- Loose teeth, or spaces suddenly appearing between teeth
- Teeth beginning to flare out
- A change in the way your teeth fit together/a different bite
What causes gum disease?
Our mouths are full of bacteria that constantly form a sticky, colorless “plaque” on teeth. Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque. This bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums when they become red, swollen and can bleed easily. But it still can be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist. Not treated, it can advance to “periodontitis”
- Hormonal changes in girls/women.
- Genetic susceptibility
How to prevent gum disease
- Brush your teeth twice a day (with a fluoride toothpaste)
- Floss every day
- Visit the dentist routinely for a check-up and professional cleaning
- Don’t smoke
- Initial cleaning, scaling, and curettage
- Surgery — if needed for reducing deep pockets that remain underneath the gum after extensive cleaning sessions
- Low-dose oral or topical antibiotics