Periodontal disease is an infection that impacts the gumline and teeth and can lead to receding gums and eventual tooth loss. While your periodontist can quickly treat the early stages of periodontal disease, more severe cases (known as periodontitis) can lead to tooth loss, gum decay, and other dental problems. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent periodontal disease and treat even advanced disease cases.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Like many mouth disorders, periodontal disease starts thanks to poor dental hygiene and a genetic predisposition for the disease. Food left behind on your teeth and gumlines can become plaque, thanks to bacteria feeding on the leftover food. This plaque eventually hardens into tartar, which a dentist can only remove. Tartar can, in turn, lead to gum irritation and gingivitis, as well as infections along the gumlines.
Signs of periodontal disease include swollen, bleeding gums, a gumline that pulls away from the teeth, making them look larger than they are, pain while chewing, and several other symptoms. If you are at the point where your teeth feel loose, or you’ve lost teeth due to gumline recession, you most likely have periodontitis and should see a dentist as soon as possible to try and save your remaining teeth.
Can You Fix Periodontal Disease?
Thankfully, periodontal disease is treatable, and even in its advanced form, periodontitis can be treated. But, of course, treatment success depends on how soon the disease is caught, so you must visit your dentist regularly, especially if you have any dental concerns.
The primary treatment for periodontal disease is root scaling and planing. By removing pockets of bacteria and smoothing down the roots of your teeth, your dentist makes it harder for bacteria to get a foothold in your mouth. In addition, by cleaning the infection's sources, your dentist gives your mouth time to recover. Most periodontal treatments are paired with medications to help your body fight the bacteria. In addition, some treatments include laser therapy to remove bacteria, gum grafts, and surgical solutions for advanced periodontitis.
What to Do if You Get Periodontal Disease?
First, don’t panic if you think you have periodontal disease. In the early stages of the condition, the damage is largely reversible, and many people have gum disease. Contact your dental team right away to make an appointment so they can help root out the source of the infection.
You'll want to pay extra attention to your dental hygiene after undergoing treatment for periodontal disease, as poor dental hygiene can contribute to the disease. Thankfully, your dental team should have plenty of tips and tricks to help you better care for your teeth while allowing you to treat the root cause of the infection.
If you have any questions about periodontal disease or periodontitis or are looking for a periodontist in your area, call our office at(571) 568-8757. We'd be happy to help you set up an appointment with our team here at Washington Periodontics, so don't hesitate to reach out and improve your smile today.