Periodontal Disease: What is it and What Can be Done?

May 26, 2013

Due to poor dental hygiene habits and bad food choices, many people suffer from the effects of periodontal disease today. This disease infects the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth and can lead to bleeding gums or even the loss of teeth in severe circumstances. Periodontal disease requires immediate attention and a good Bend Oregon dentist should be able to assist you in treating this disease.

How Periodontal Disease Affects the Teeth and Gums
While many people think that the teeth are firmly attached to the gums, this is not true. There is in fact a gap between them known as the sulcus. When periodontal disease occurs, the tissue supporting the teeth deteriorates. If this process only affects the gums, it is usually referred to as gingivitis, but if only the bone and connecting tissue are affected, it is then diagnosed as periodontitis. Any Bend Oregon family dentist should be able to diagnose this disease and give suggestions regarding the best forms of treatment for it, whether it is treatment at their offices or surgery in more severe cases.

Possible Causes of Periodontal Disease
One of the most common causes of gum disease is plaque that is not properly cleaned off the teeth. Plaque contains bacteria which produce toxins that are known to damage the supporting tissue and gums. If it is left on the teeth for longer than 48 hours, it hardens into a substance known as tartar. Once it reaches this stage, the only way to remove it is to have your teeth professionally cleaned by your Bend dentist. Other factors which may cause gum disease to worsen may include stress, diabetes, a weakened immune system and various medications that the patient may be using to treat other conditions. Patients who suffer from any of these conditions should take extra care with dental hygiene.

Symptoms of Periodontitis
Your Bend Oregon Implant dentist should be consulted at once if you experience symptoms such as having your gums pull away from the teeth, pus between teeth and gums or having the roots of your teeth exposed. Other symptoms to watch out for may include swollen or sore gums, loose teeth in adults or older children who already have adult teeth, bad breath (halitosis), sore teeth, and a bad or unusual taste in the mouth or unusually pale or dark gums. In severe cases of periodontitis, swelling may develop under the chin or the tongue itself may become swollen. If this occurs, the patient should seek emergency medical treatment, as this may be a sign of the infection spreading to the rest of the body.

Which Forms of Treatment are Available for Periodontitis?
In less severe cases of periodontitis, your Bend family dentist may recommend in-home treatment such as improved oral hygiene practices. Patients will be advised to use fluoride-based toothpaste and replace their toothbrush every three months. Teeth will need to be thoroughly brushed and cleaned at least twice a day in order to prevent the build-up of plaque. Patients will be encouraged to floss each day and to restrict their intake of sugary or acidic snacks and drinks. The Bend Oregon dentist will also de-scale and clean the teeth and smooth any areas where roots are exposed. Antibiotics may be given to the patient as well. If there are still gaps after cleaning, surgery may then be recommended.

Can Periodontal Disease be Prevented?
The answer to this is yes. If patients visit their dentist at least once a year for a professional cleaning and they engage in good oral hygiene habits such as regular brushing and flossing, this disease can often be prevented. It is also important for patients to ensure that they visit their dentist as soon as they notice that there is something wrong in their mouth. If this disease is caught in time, the patient’s teeth can usually be saved. By visiting your Bend gum disease dentist regularly, it will also prevent the possibility of requiring treatment or even surgery for periodontitis. Your Bend Oregon dentist will be able to advise you with regards to correct oral hygiene procedures.

Are There Natural Remedies for Periodontal Disease?
In some cases, natural remedies can be used to treat gum disease in Bend Oregon. While they are not guaranteed to work every time, many people have been able to help reduce their risk of developing periodontal disease by increasing their intake of Vitamin C and Vitamin D. Vitamin C was used as far back as the 1800’s to help prevent bleeding gums in sailors. Vitamin D is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it is thought that it may be beneficial in those wanting to avoid developing gum disease.

Because gum disease and heart disease are closely related, it is important to brush and floss regularly to help reduce the risk of heart disease or heart attacks from occurring. Ensure that proper oral hygiene routines are followed and regular visits to your Bend Oregon dentist are made to prevent periodontal disease altogether.

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