Periodontal Disease

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One of the major causes of tooth loss in adults is periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease, also called gum disease is caused by bacteria that attack gum tissue and if timely action is not taken, it will even attack the tissue and bone holding the teeth.
If left untreated gum disease will lead to painful and puffy gums, bad breath, and ultimately lead to loss of teeth and supporting bone. Periodontal disease is caused by “plaque”, a film that forms on the teeth and other surfaces in the mouth. Plaque is an invisible film that contains bacteria. These bacteria may eat away at the gums and produce toxins that further damage the gums. There are hundreds of types of bacteria, and the only way to avoid the formation of plaque is brushing and flossing every day.

How Does it Start?

The main cause of gum disease is inadequate oral hygiene. Gum disease is actually quite common; a study shows that almost 80% of adults above 30 have some form of gum disease, and about 20% will be affected with the most severe form of this disease, called periodontitis. So the threat of gum disease is very serious and it will affect 1 in 5 people in its severest form. The US Surgeon General has called periodontal disease “the epidemic of the 20th century”.

You are probably aware that sugar is bad for the teeth, but what you may not know is that any foods containing starch, like pasta, rice potatoes, or most of the snacks that we eat also cause the acids that may attack your tooth enamel. Some people are at more risk of developing gum disease than others. Some of the risk factors are malnutrition, poor oral hygiene, smoking, diabetes, even genetic predisposition and Downs Syndrome.

A bad diet, too much stress, and too little sleep, leaves you more vulnerable to infection anywhere in the body, including your gums.
How Gum disease Progresses

gum disease causeGum disease progresses in stages. If your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, chances are you already have gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease. Bleeding gums are normally a sign of gingivitis or the beginning of gum disease. Other warning signs include gum tenderness, redness, or puffiness. If the plaque is not removed regularly, over a period of time it will harden to form calculus. Once this is formed it starts to irritate gum tissue, causing inflammation. Gums bleed frequently and over time may pull away from the teeth. At this point, gingivitis has developed into full-blown periodontal disease.

What is the final outcome?

If you notice any of the following signs immediately see your dentist:

Bleeding of the gums while brushing or flossing.
Discoloration of gums (swollen, red or purple, tender. Healthy gums look pink and firm)
signs of gums pulling away from teeth
bad breath that won’t go away
loose teeth

How to avoid gum disease?

Through regular brushing and flossing, plaque can be removed and the risk of the onset of gum disease can be greatly reduced. But that is not enough to avoid gum disease.

Future articles will focus on some of the simple things you can do to avoid gum disease and enjoy a healthy mouth for years to come!

What is periodontal disease?

Do you know?

One of the major causes of tooth loss in adults is periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease, also called gum disease is caused by bacteria that attack gum tissue and if timely action is not taken, it will even attack the tissue and bone holding the teeth. If left untreated gum disease will lead to painful and puffy gums, bad breath, and ultimately lead to loss of teeth and supporting bone. Periodontal disease is caused by “plaque”, a film that forms on the teeth and other surfaces in the mouth. Plaque is an invisible film that contains bacteria. These bacteria may eat away at the gums and produce toxins that further damage the gums. There are hundreds of types of bacteria, and the only way to avoid the formation of plaque is brushing and flossing every day.

How does it start?

The main cause of gum disease is inadequate oral hygiene. Gum disease is actually quite common; a study shows that almost 80% of adults above 30 have some form of gum disease, and about 20% will be affected with the most severe form of this disease, called periodontitis. So the threat of gum disease is very serious and it will affect 1 in 5 people in its severest form. The US Surgeon General has called periodontal disease “the epidemic of the 20th century”.

You are probably aware that sugar is bad for the teeth, but what you may not know is that any foods containing starch, like pasta, rice potatoes, or most of the snacks that we eat also cause the acids that may attack your tooth enamel. Some people are at more risk of developing gum disease than others. Some of the risk factors are malnutrition, poor oral hygiene, smoking, diabetes, even genetic predisposition and Downs Syndrome.

A bad diet, too much stress, and too little sleep, leaves you more vulnerable to infection anywhere in the body, including your gums.
How Gum disease Progresses

Gum disease progresses in stages. If your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, chances are you already have gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease. Bleeding gums are normally a sign of gingivitis or the beginning of gum disease. Other warning signs include gum tenderness, redness, or puffiness. If the plaque is not removed regularly, over a period of time it will harden to form calculus. Once this is formed it starts to irritate gum tissue, causing inflammation. Gum bleed frequently and over time may pull away from the teeth. At this point, Gingivitis has developed into full-blown periodontal disease.

What is the final outcome?

If you notice any of the following signs immediately see your dentist:

Bleeding of the gums while brushing or flossing.
Discoloration of gums (swollen, red or purple, tender. Healthy gums look pink and firm)
signs of gums pulling away from teeth
bad breath that won’t go away
loose teeth

How to avoid gum disease?

Through regular brushing and flossing, plaque can be removed and the risk of the onset of gum disease can be greatly reduced. But that is not enough to avoid gum disease.

Future articles will focus on some of the simple things you can do to avoid gum disease and enjoy a healthy mouth for years to come!

<<< One of the major causes of tooth loss in adults is periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, also called gum disease is caused by bacteria that attack gum tissue and if timely action is not taken, it will even attack the tissue and bone holding the teeth. If left untreated gum disease will lead to painful and puffy gums, bad breath, and ultimately lead to loss of teeth and supporting bone.

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