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The Treatments, Risks, and Causes of Periodontitis

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we faced another rampant disease that impacted our oral health every day. Over 60 million Americans live with periodontal disease and are seen for this condition by dentists yearly. This makes periodontal disease one of our country’s primary health concerns. It begins as inflammation and tenderness in the gums, known as gingivitis. When left untreated, this condition can worsen into periodontitis. It is dangerous to every aspect of our oral health at this stage. It attacks our gums, causes infections in dental roots, and can destroy bone material in the jaw. The best defense against this condition is consistent oral hygiene combined with education about oral health. Combined, these two elements could lead to a marked reduction in the prevalence of this disease.

The Treatments, Risks, and Causes of Periodontitis

One of the tragedies of the prevalence of periodontitis is how easy it is to prevent. It starts with a consistent routine of good oral hygiene that includes brushing twice daily, using mouthwash, and flossing. These steps help to control the presence of streptococcus mutans in your oral cavity. This bacteria is responsible for much of the tooth decay that we experience in our lives. Uncontrolled, it will build up plaque in our mouths, converting to a biofilm known as tartar over time. Once tartar is present, it generally takes professional attention to eliminate.

Common signs of periodontal disease include:

  • Inflammation, Redness – Gums will often become red and inflamed when affected by gingivitis.
  • Bleeding When Brushing – When blood is present on your toothbrush or in your spit after brushing, it’s usually due to periodontitis or gingivitis.
  • Gingival Pocketing – This occurs when your gums begin to pull away from the roots of your teeth. This is usually associated with periodontitis, the more advanced form of gum disease.

A consistent oral hygiene practice is essential to keeping gum disease at bay. However, they’re only half the battle. The other half maintains a consistent routine of visiting your dentist twice a year. During these visits, they can inspect your oral cavity for the presence of gingivitis, perform a professional cleaning, and safeguard you against periodontitis. They can also remove tartar that may have built up on your teeth since your last visit.

When It’s Time To Seek Periodontal Care

If you’ve discovered that you show any of the symptoms mentioned above, schedule a visit with your dental provider. Remember that any puffiness or redness in your gums is abnormal and a warning sign of gingivitis beginning to set in. If your gums often bleed when you brush them, it won’t be long before the disease begins attacking your gumline and the delicate roots beneath.

Treating this condition is accessible in the earliest stages. It starts with a thorough cleaning that removes existing tartar or biofilms such as plaque. This will be followed by scaling and planing of the roots if periodontitis is present. Reach out to your dentist to determine if the symptoms you’ve identified indicate the presence of gingivitis, and start a treatment plan today.

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