Yes, you probably have periodontal disease. It is one of the most common dental problems we see here at Valley Dental Group. You may brush and floss and watch what you eat, but you can still end up with bacteria in your mouth that can cause gum infections and disease. A little known fact; the bacteria in mouths can transfer from person to person via saliva. So, kissing or sharing food and utensils can pass the bacteria and disease along to a new host.
Being aware is the first step. Your hygienist may tell you things like
- “You have a pocket here.”
- “I see some recession.”
- “I see some bleeding on this tooth.”
- “Your x-rays show some bone loss.”
Dental professionals are very clinical. They think you understand these big words. What they mean is your gums are infected and bleeding. They are pulling away from your teeth, causing pockets and exposing the roots. You are swallowing pus. The infection is destroying your jawbone and eventually, if not treated, your teeth will fall out.
SYMPTOMS YOU MAY NOTICE
- Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between your gums and teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of partial dentures
WHAT CAN YOU DO
Brush your teeth. Brushing after meals helps remove food debris and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Don’t forget to include your tongue, bacteria loves to hide there.
Floss. Flossing at least once a day helps remove food particles and plaque between teeth and along the gum line that your toothbrush can’t quite reach.
Swish with mouthwash. Using a mouthwash can help reduce plaque and can remove remaining food particles that brushing and flossing missed.
See a dental professional. If your dentist or hygienist has diagnosed disease, you may need additional dental cleanings in a year. You may need a series of deep cleanings called scaling and root planning which removes plaque and infection from the roots of the teeth which will help prevent the spread of the decay and bacteria.
Periodontal disease can be treated quite easily at the early stages of gingivitis, but once you have periodontitis, it will never completely go away. You may have to manage it for the rest of your life
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.
Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body in essence turns on itself. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets that become infected. As the disease progresses tissue and bone are destroyed. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.