What To Do If You Think You Have Periodontal Disease
Healthy gums are a vital part of having healthy teeth. Your gum tissue supports your teeth and keeps them in place. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that is generally caused by inadequate oral hygiene and lack of dental visits. When plaque is left to build up on teeth, it hardens, and gum disease can develop. When left untreated, it can result in bone and tooth loss. If you suspect you have gum or periodontal disease, our dental experts at Kodish-Perez Dental Group in Fort Lauderdale, FL can help diagnose and treat this oral infection to get your dental health back on track.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory infection of bone structure and gum tissue surrounding the teeth. It can be silent, meaning that signs of gum disease don't always appear until Fort Lauderdale, FL patients are in the advanced stages. Patients often overlook bad breath or bleeding gums after brushing as "normal" while putting off a routine visit to the dentist. However, gingivitis can lead to a more severe oral condition called periodontitis, or periodontal disease, if left untreated. Some common early warning signs are:
- Tender, red, or swollen gums
- Frequent bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Mouth sores
- Receding gumline
- Pus or infected pockets between the teeth and gums
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath, even after brushing
- Change in upper or lower bite occlusions
Are you at risk of developing gum disease?
Studies indicate that older adults have the highest rates of periodontal disease. By age 65, one in four adults have signs of gum infection. It also affects more men than women. However, age is not the only factor that puts your dental health at risk. Other conditions, like poor dental hygiene and forgoing regular visits to the dentist, increase a person's susceptibility to this oral disease. Other factors that increase your risk for periodontal disease include:
- Taking certain prescription medications that reduce saliva production
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Hereditary traits
- Fluctuating hormones
What should you do if you have periodontal disease symptoms?
Mild cases of gingivitis, or early stage of gum disease, can usually be treated by stepping up your oral hygiene at home, brushing twice a day, and flossing regularly. It would be best if you also made an effort to have a routine dental exam and cleaning as soon as possible. For other cases found early, scaling and root planing can be performed, removing plaque and tartar from above and below the gumline. For more advanced stages, invasive treatments, like pocket reduction, bone grafting, or laser gum surgery may be necessary to stop bacteria from growing and progressing. So, do you think you may have periodontal disease? Treating gum infection as early as possible minimizes damage and reduces the risk of tooth loss. After a thorough dental exam, our doctors will devise a treatment plan to fit your needs and fully restore your oral health.
By familiarizing yourself with periodontal disease symptoms, you can get proper dental care almost immediately if you notice a problem. Your gums are a critical part of your overall oral health. Good dental hygiene, along with routine visits to Kodish-Perez Dental Group, is paramount to prevent the development of periodontal disease. Contact our Fort Lauderdale, FL office today to schedule a dental checkup with one of our doctors. Our caring and dedicated team are ready to assist you.