Periodontal disease occurs as a result of infections caused by plaque buildup in the supporting tissues surrounding the teeth. These tissues include the gums, surrounding ligaments and bone tissues, and the calcified substance known as cementum that cover the roots of the teeth. The earliest stage of periodontal disease is known as gingivitis and affects only the gums. Common symptoms of gingivitis include inflammation, tender, and painful gums, bleeding during brushing and flossing. Unpleasant breath, the development of pockets between the gums and teeth which contain a thick, yellow pus, and recession of the gum line that causes teeth to appear elongated.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
Fortunately, periodontal disease is highly preventable as long as the right oral care routine is followed. Regular brushing of the teeth and the tongue is an essential part of keeping plaque from forming on tooth surfaces and in the areas between the teeth. Flossing removes food particles from between the teeth, and swishing with an antibacterial mouthwash gets rid of residual food particles that brushing and flossing have missed. Additionally, scheduling regular cleanings with your dentist is also recommended.
Risk factors for the development of periodontal disease include personal habits such as smoking and poor dietary choices, genetics, and age. The good news, however, is that patients have a window of opportunity to reverse periodontal disease provided it’s caught in the early stages. Ask your dental care professional about performing a comprehensive periodontal evaluation on an annual basis to identify symptoms early enough to begin the reversal process.
Reversing gingivitis entails developing the best practices oral health care routine described above that includes brushing, flossing, and swishing. Boosting your immune system by eating a diet rich in whole grains, seafood, lean meats, vegetables, and fruit helps slow down the onset of periodontal disease.
Treating Advanced Periodontal Disease
Significant progress has been made in recent years concerning the treatment of advanced periodontal disease, and many options exist depending on individual factors such as the extent of the damage to the tissues. Please feel free to contact our office at your convenience for more information.