Periodontal disease is an infection that causes damage to the gum tissues and the jawbone. It is a stage of gum disease that typically starts out very minor, but can lead to serious problems if treatment is not administered. If routine cleanings and exams are maintained, general dentists can usually catch the infection early on so that it does not worsen.
Keep reading to learn more about periodontal disease. The following information can be helpful to those who are experiencing problems with their gums.
Periodontal disease is an infection within the gums. The gums are responsible for holding the teeth in place, which is why any form of gum disease is concerning. Periodontal disease, in particular, is typically caused by a lack of oral hygiene. Those who skip brushing their teeth or forget to floss are very likely to have infected gums. When brushing and flossing are skipped, plaque is likely to turn into tartar, which causes serious infections in the teeth and along the gum lines. Eventually, the gum lines will become so infected that the entire gum tissues will become affected.
Wondering what periodontal disease looks like? Most people experience red and swollen gums. A lot of the time, there is also soreness, bleeding and swelling. Long-term, there may be pain when eating or brushing, as well as potential tooth loss.
Periodontal disease treatment
General dentists usually administer a type of dental deep cleaning when an infection in the gums occurs. Scaling and root planing may be done, which pulls the gums back to allow for the removal of plaque and tartar. Additionally, an oral rinse may be prescribed to help destroy bacteria.
There are a few stages of gum infections and periodontal disease is the middle or later stage, depending on how severe the symptoms are.
- The first stage is called gingivitis and it is usually very minor. Typically, the gumlines are only affected in the first stage.
- Once the infection reaches the periodontal disease stage, it is likely that the gum tissues will feel the effects. The symptoms are often heightened and patients tend to experience more discomfort.
- The last stage of gum disease is referred to as advanced periodontitis. Once the infection reaches the final stage, patients are likely to experience a shift in their teeth, as well as tooth loss.
Avoiding gum disease
In order to avoid any stage of gum infection, periodontal disease included, patients should brush their teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. Additionally, flossing once a day should be done to ensure that food does not get left behind, causing plaque to build-up. Most importantly, visiting a general dentist twice a year or every 6 months can help ensure that infections are caught early on, which can eliminate it reaching the final stages.
Periodontal disease can affect anyone. Once the gums become infected at this stage, it is important to visit a general dentist to undergo the appropriate treatment. Reach out today to learn more about the stages of gum disease or to get started with an appointment.
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