Signs of Periodontal Disease
Bleeding gums – bleeding gums are a sign of dental infection
Bad breath – built up bacteria can lead to bad breath (“halitosis”)
Red or swollen gums
Gum recession – your teeth may look longer than they used to or if you may notice some root exposure
Tooth sensitivity – if your roots are exposed you can experience increased sensitivity to temperature or sweets
Periodontal abscess – bacteria can become entrapped in the periodontal pocket, causing the area to fill with pus and become uncomfortable and swollen
Loose teeth – advanced bone loss can cause your teeth to loosen
The first thing we do is review effective oral hygiene techniques and discuss ways you can improve your current home care routine. Next, we mechanically remove the bacteria, plaque, and tartar that has built up on your teeth’s root surfaces. This process is called scaling and root planning (SRP) and is done with a combination of hand instruments and an ultrasonic (a high-frequency vibrating instrument). Occasionally, we then apply antimicrobial products and/or antibiotics to the affected areas in order to assist your body in healing those deep pockets and to help avoid the need for periodontal surgery.
Several research studies have linked periodontal disease to other serious, systemic chronic inflammatory health conditions including diabetes, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, prosthetic joint complications, dementia, and even pregnancy complications. The two most likely reasons for this oral-systemic connection have to do with the fact that periodontal disease may raise your body’s overall level of inflammation and the same bacteria frequently found in periodontal pockets has also been found in blood vessel plaques of people suffering from cardiovascular disease. As studies continue to examine the impact of periodontal disease on people’s overall health it highlights a compelling argument to proactively ensure that you maintain the best oral health possible in order to promote an improved overall health and well-being.
Some articles published outlining the systemic links between periodontal disease and general health can be found below:
While there are multiple factors that influence periodontal disease, the #1 way to reduce your risk of periodontal disease is to brush and floss daily. You should brush for a full 2 minutes. A power toothbrush is recommended (good options include Sonicare or OralB). It is also necessary to have regular checkups and cleanings every 4-6 months because your dentist/hygienist has instruments that can remove calcified deposits stuck on your teeth that you cannot remove easily at home. In addition to meticulous home care, you can also decrease your chances of developing gum disease by eating a balanced diet, reducing stress in your life, and quitting smoking.