What is Periodontal Disease / Peridontitis?
Your dentist or dental hygienist may have told you that you have periodontal disease or periodontitis, but what does that mean? Periodontitis involves the breakdown of gum tissue and bone tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth. It may affect one or more areas of the mouth. Smoking is probably the most important risk factor that contributes to developing peridontitis.
Gum disease, also referred to as gingivitis, causes inflammation of the gums and bleeding. This condition can be reversed with regular and proper oral care. Gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease, if left untreated however. Unlike gum disease, periodontitis causes permanent damage to the gum and bone tissue. In some cases, tissue grafting may be done to help restore the affected areas.
What Can I Do To Avoid It?
Prevention is always the best approach. Regular dental cleanings and exams are important to detect potential issues before they result in pain or invasive surgery. Your daily oral care routine is very important. While having regular dental cleanings are necessary to ensure that all debris are removed, your regular home care contributes the most to your oral health.
When you do not brush your teeth or floss regularly, plaque buildup begins to form on your teeth and causes gum disease. Gum disease is characterized by bleeding and swollen gums. If proper oral care is implemented at this stage, no permanent damage will occur. If the plaque is left undisturbed, it will harden into what is referred to as calculus or tartar. The calculus or tartar will cause more plaque to buildup around it and will eventually lead to breakdown of the gum and bone tissue.
Smoking has been shown to affect the level of bone loss in the mouth as well. Smoking has been shown to accelerate bone loss and increase the risk of developing periodontal disease. As the severity of periodontal disease progresses, there is an increased risk for tooth loss that is associated with low bone levels.
If you have signs or symptoms of gingivitis or periodontal disease, contact us today.