Periodontal disease is one of the most common dental problems that adults in America face. While it doesn’t start off as a severe problem, if left untreated, the consequences can be extreme. In this entry, we’ll cover the basics of what periodontal disease is, its symptoms, and how to treat it. If you’re worried that you might be suffering from periodontal disease or any other dental problem, contact us at Dr. Nahel Yanni’s dentist’s office today. Our staff is ready to help you get better!
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is a disease that begins when the bacteria in your mouth get out of control and start causing problems with everything from your gums and teeth to your jaw bone. The bacteria manage to get a leg up in your mouth when you don’t remove the plaque from your teeth with regular brushing and flossing.
Strangely, it isn’t the bacteria themselves that cause the breakdown of tissue, it’s your own body trying to stop the bacteria. When the body senses an overabundance of bacteria, it releases chemicals that irritate and destroy your gums, teeth, and bones. Your body basically kicks its normal immune response into overdrive to make sure the threat is eliminated by any means necessary.
What are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?
If you have the early stages of periodontal disease, also called gingivitis, you’ll probably notice that your gums are swollen and tender and that they might bleed when you brush and floss your teeth. If you don’t take steps to remove the excess plaque from your teeth and around your gums in this early stage, it will get worse.
The next step of the disease is called periodontitis and at this stage you’ll notice your gums starting to pull away from your teeth. When this happens, the bacteria on your teeth will go further up into your gums where the infection is harder to treat. It is usually at this point that the body begins to fight against the infection. It can cause your teeth to loosen and you might lose some of the bone in your jaws as the body does everything it can to fight the bacteria. In the most severe cases, you might need to have some of your teeth removed.
How Do I Prevent Periodontal Disease?
Preventing periodontal disease is actually fairly simple: unless you’re genetically predisposed to suffering from the disease, brushing and flossing everyday, along with regular trips to the dentist for cleaning and exams, is all you really need to do to stop periodontal disease from becoming a real problem.
There are some medications that can increase your risk of getting the disease, and smoking pushes your chances higher, too. Read the labels on your meds carefully and consult your dentist if you’re worried that you might be seeing more plaque on your teeth, and stop smoking right away.
Contact us at Dr. Nahel Yanni’s office in East Brunswick for an appointment. We can help you keep your teeth in great shape! We also offer cosmetic dentistry and we can perform any procedures you might need under sedation.