Periodontal diseases are essentially infections of the structures around the teeth, including the gums, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone. The earliest stage is gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums, which can progress to more serious conditions affecting the bone and tissue supporting the teeth.
Though they may not be as well-known as cavities, these diseases can have significant impact if left unaddressed. In this blog, let us understand symptoms, causes, and how you can effectively keep periodontal diseases at bay.
Recognizing the Signs
Symptoms of periodontal disease often develop quietly, but here are some signs to watch out for:
· Red, swollen, or tender gums
· Bleeding while brushing or flossing
· Receding gums, making teeth appear longer
· Persistent bad breath
· Loose or shifting teeth
The Root Causes
Several factors can contribute to developing periodontal diseases, such as:
· Poor oral hygiene leading to plaque buildup
· Smoking or chewing tobacco
· Genetic susceptibility
· Certain illnesses like diabetes
· Medications that reduce saliva flow
Left untreated, periodontal diseases can lead to tooth loss. They are also linked to systemic health issues, including heart disease, stroke, and complications in diabetes.
Diagnosing the Issue
Regular dental check-ups are crucial for early diagnosis. Dentists use various methods to diagnose periodontal diseases, including:
· Examining gums for signs of inflammation
· Checking for loose teeth
· Measuring the depth of gum pockets
· Dental X-rays to observe bone loss
Treatment and Management
Treatment depends on the disease's severity and might include:
· Professional dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar.
· Scaling and root planning for deep cleaning under the gums.
· Medications or antimicrobial mouth rinses.
· In severe cases, surgical procedures like flap surgery or bone and tissue grafts.
Prevention is the to fight against periodontal diseases:
· Maintain good oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing.
· Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups.
· Quit smoking or using tobacco products.
· Eat a balanced diet and manage systemic health conditions like diabetes.
Periodontal diseases might be stealthy, but with the right knowledge and practices, you can keep them at bay. By maintaining good oral hygiene, attending regular dental check-ups, and understanding the risks, you can protect not just your oral health but your overall well-being.